Is Your Business Health & Safety Compliant?
Synergy News • Mar 14, 2017
Workplace health and safety company policy is essential for the preservation of the best possible work conditions for a company’s employees. Every employee has a right to work in an environment where they have no fear for their health and safety. It is an issue that can solely define an organisations legality and morals. Any absence of conformity can come with a heavy cost.
Synergy Group is committed to adhere to all relative legal standards and take any action necessary to ensure a workplace free of hazards and physical risks.
Is your business health and safety compliant?
- Health and safety signs and notices in common areas or prominent places, must be in Arabic as well as the language of employees (commonly English in the UAE).
- Employees are to be trained in health and safety standards and procedures on any risk or hazards associated to their job.
- Employers must put into practice adequate means to prevent or alleviate occupational hazards, with the provision of sufficient personal protective equipment, the assembly of safety barriers round hazardous equipment, and taking necessary provisions when storing hazardous materials.
- Employees must use the personal protective equipment provided and follow all guidelines given by the employer.
- Safe work practices must be established by employers so employees can carry out their jobs with minimum risk.
- All highly dangerous job tasks will require the presence of at least two employees.
- All electrical, mechanical and manual equipment and infrastructure must be inspected regularly, maintained and repaired when needed.
- Offices/workspaces must be cleaned and sanitised regularly and as required.
- Levels of noise, light and temperature of the workplace should be adjusted to make work conditions as pleasant as possible.
- In cases when maintenance, repairs or cleaning activities are performed, there should be caution signs indicating potential danger placed at appropriate visible spots.
- Employers must provide one first aid kit per every 100 employees. The content of which are set out in Ministerial Decision No. (32) of 1982. First aid kits are to be fully stocked and placed at convenient locations.
- Workplaces must have drinking water and bathroom facilities available.
- Ventilation systems must be well-functioning
- Where Employees work at remote sites in the UAE, employers must provide adequate means of transport, suitable living accommodation, drinking water, food, first aid facilities and recreational/sports facilities.
- Industrial companies that have 150 plus employees must have a full time industrial safety officer, tasked with preventing hazards and supervision of the implementation of UAE health and safety legislation.
- Employers must report any accident that results in an employee’s death, involves fire or an explosion, or renders an employee unable to attend work for three consecutive days, to the Ministry of Labour using the form prescribed in Ministerial Decision No. (32) of 1982.
What if a business does not meet health and safety requirements?
Should a company not adhere to UAE legal requirements, this can have serious repercussions on both the business and individual. Liability can be criminal sanctions, fixed compensation, civil compensatory damages, contractual liability and administrative penalties.
Ministry of Labour Inspectors have the right to conduct on-site inspections and impose fines or rectification notices on companies for breaks of the health and safety provisions, irrespective of whether or not a workplace incident has taken place as a result. Penalties can be compounded when there are repeat wrongdoings, and aggregated where a number of employees are affected, up to a maximum penalty of AED 5,000,000.
The health and safety legal system in the UAE is mainly derived from the following laws and decisions:
- Labour Law [Federal Law No. (8) of 1980 as amended];
- Ministerial Decision No. (32) of 1982 concerning preventive methods to protect employees;
- Ministerial Decision No. (37/2) of 1982 concerning standards of medical care provided for Employees;
- Ministerial Decision No. (4/1) of 1981 concerning hazardous works;
- Ministerial Decision No. (27/1) of 1981 concerning remote areas and locations.
Employers must be mindful of local legislation (Emirate or Free Zone) which may affect your health and safety obligations, where the business is licensed and where the business operates as this can impact which rules the company are governed by.