December 24, 2013
The Middle East hosted a one-day summit at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre earlier this year (January 20th) to highlight the importance of safety in the workplace.
Zawya reports that the welfare of a workforce and the numerous benefits of ensuring a safe and conducive environment were one of the key topics discussed at the IOSH Middle East Occupational Health Seminar.
Recent research by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) found that there are enormous costs for unsafe working conditions. According to the study, accidents in the workplace take the lives of 2.3 million people every year worldwide, while in excess of 317 million accidents happen in work environments around the world each year.
It is estimated that, aside from the human cost, poor safety practices and accidents cost the world's economy four per cent of global GDP annually.
The summit aimed to help regional occupational safety and health (OSH) practitioners to become more effective and proactive in preventing ill-health related to the work environment as well as promoting good health and comprehensive rehabilitation practices in their workplaces.
It is thought that these OSH professionals are in the ideal position to raise awareness of health and safety issues across the Middle East, concentrating on corporate leaders. The seminar also featured other occupational health issues that are relevant to the region.
Robert Cooling, chair of IOSH Middle East, said the conference represented "an excellent forum for sharing health and safety information and best practice".
He added that the seminar was only part of an "ongoing drive to enhance health and safety standards throughout the Middle East region".
"With a particular focus on occupational health management, the event will provide practitioners with the tools and skills to ensure that health hazards and risks are effectively managed in their organisations," Mr Cooling concluded.
The conference programme covered:
- Social responsibility: enhancing health in the workplace
- Health implications of noise exposure in the workplace
- Working at heights
- Heat stress
- Hand protection
- Stress management