ministry of health and prevention organizes first ‘national forum for safety & occupational health’

UAE – As part of the World Occupational Health and Safety Day, the Ministry of Health and Prevention is conducting a workshop today (April 25, 2017) in collaboration with the Arab Labor Organization, the World Health Organization and the International Labor Organization, in coordination with the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization and the Federal Authority for Human Resources. The event is being held in the presence of H.E. Dr. Amin Hussein Al Amiri, Assistant Undersecretary for Public Policy and Licensing of MOHAP, Dr. Ayesha Suhail, Director of Primary Healthcare Department, representatives of government and private bodies, and participation of international and local experts, doctors and technicians.

The workshop will discuss health and international occupational safety standards, the implications and the cost of occupational diseases and accidents, an assessment of current statistics on work injuries and occupational diseases. It will also talk about the role of stakeholders at the national level in the development of a national system of documentation for government-related agencies such as general pension and social insurance and the higher committee for occupational health and safety. There will also be a review of the legislation concerning the documentation of accidents and occupational diseases and effective mechanisms for data collection and analysis and reporting in systematic ways, with the view of building a national performance indicators on work accidents and occupational diseases.

Sustainable strategy for the work environment to maintain highest occupational health and safety standards

Dr. Amin Al Amiri noted that the UAE’s wise leadership is keen to implement better laws and legislation and adopt sustainable preventive measures to meet the highest occupational health and safety standards, to provide employees and workers with equal rights as are with citizens and residents, under the government’s program to attract skilled labor. The program aims to ensure a safe and healthy working environment consistent with universal human rights laws by establishing a system of rights and responsibilities for specific duties and terms based on standards set by the World Health Organization and the International Labor Organization. The workshop reflects the country’s sustainable development initiatives and efforts to open channels of communication between concerned authorities and departments and thus enhance the physical and mental health of workers in their facilities and ensure professional degree of satisfaction.

Workers’ and employees’ rights and professional health is top priority for UAE

Dr. Al Amiri said: “With the high growth rate and the great achievements witnessed by all sectors of the UAE, the country is keen to establish stability in the labor market in order to serve the comprehensive development objectives, develop the policies of recruiting expatriate workers, and attract international talent, skills and experts to work in state enterprises.”

The UAE highly values and respects workers’ rights as a moral, cultural and economic obligation, and the country has ratified ILO Convention on Workers’ Rights. The country’s labor laws guarantee the health, safety and security of workers and employees and protect their rights, such as the wage protection system, labor courts and health insurance, in the event of occupational diseases and the provision of adequate housing for workers in accordance with international standards and norms. These systems are integrated in the country’s laws to regulate the labor market and abide by international human rights conventions and the preservation of human resources.

Reference national standard, guidelines , criteria for government excellence

Al Amiri explained that both government and private establishments follow the national standard and the guidelines adopted by the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority, beside the occupational health and safety manual guide issued by the Federal Authority and Human Resources based on the criteria set in the 4th generation on the system of government excellence and the strategic standards for health care facilities in general and occupational safety and health services in particular. This established rule contributes to the Ministry’s mission to enhance individual and community health in the UAE through comprehensive and distinctive services within a sustainable health environment.

Unique international platform to achieve excellence in innovative occupational health and safety practices

Dr. Ayesha Suhail noted that the workshop is a unique international platform that brings together government and private institutions and international organizations under one roof to learn about the latest developments, technologies and facilities that promote best practices in occupational health and safety in order to achieve excellence. The workshop included presentations and interactive discussions on challenges, development of appropriate solutions and safety measures through the use of technology, risk management, assurance of occupational safety and health measures, excellence in the development of innovative practices and continuous improvement, preparation of emergency response plans and definition of occupational health and safety risks.

Declaration of Federal Authority for Human Resources,

H.E. Dr. Abdul Rahman Al Awar, Director General of the Federal Authority for Government Human Resources, has emphasized the importance of the workshop on the development of the national system for documenting occupational accidents and injuries. He stated that it is an ideal platform to highlight the best international experiences and practices in the field of occupational health and safety. He added that it also an important gateway to discuss and explore suitable solutions to some issues related to the health and safety of employees in the workplace such as accidents, work injuries and occupational diseases.

The Director General pointed out that the launch of the ‘Guide to Occupational Health and Safety in the Federal Government’ stems from the Federal Authority’s keenness to adhere to the directives of the Government of the UAE. He said that these include the requirement to integrate policies, legislation and regulations for developing capable and skilled human capital in the federal government. He explained that the Guide braces the standards of occupational health and safety followed at the work sites of various Ministries and Federal Organizations and extends its support to further strengthen them.