Monday, January 19, 2009

Dubai Municipality issues safety code in English for best practices in construction sites

DM issues safety code in English for best practices in construction sites

Dubai, 18 January 2009: Dubai Municipality's Building Department has issued a safety code in English for best practices at construction sites which outlines general and specific safety procedures for all types of construction and demolition works and associated jobs. The Arabic edition of the code has been available since July 2008.

The issuance of this code, titled "Code of Construction Safety Practice" stems from the great concern placed by the municipality for safety issues and the need to introduce future standards for the same.

The code includes a set of rules that will help construction firms adopt the best practices in ensuing safety at construction sites. It can be used as a reference for regulating the working conditions in construction projects for all employees who work with contractors or sub-contractors.

The new safety manual forms part of the set of legislation currently being undertaken by Dubai Municipality with the objective of introducing a complete legal framework in line with the municipality's Strategic Plan 2007-2011. This will result in producing a set of the most important legislation documents for the emirate.

"As we face unprecedented and difficult challenges in offering the best infrastructure for a world-class city like Dubai, the issuance of such a manual is all the more relevant. In designing this manual, many of the safety standards existing in the advanced and developing nations were referred to," Essa Al Maidour, Assistant Director General of Dubai Municipality for Planning and Building Affairs, said.

Shedding light on the contents of the code, Al Maidour said the code includes a set of rules which regulate construction projects carried out in the Emirate of Dubai.
The code also lays down stricter fire safety preconditions in the wake of an increased rate of fire accidents at projects under construction. In this regard, the consultants and contractors have to give top priority for early installation of the permanent fire prevention devices and arranging water tanks and water pumps at construction sites to put off fire and sources of alternative energy. This is applicable even if the building is complete and ready for occupation.

Technical guidelines appended to the code are part and parcel of it. All rules and appended technical guidelines stipulated in it shall be applied to all building operations and engineering construction projects undertaken by way of trade or for the purpose of residential, commercial or industrial by or on behalf of the private or the public sector which includes the government or any other public authority.

The code outlines general safety rules and clearly defines the roles and responsibilities of the employers, consultant engineers, contractors, sub-contractors with regard to the safety issues. It also lists the minimum requirements and the necessary arrangements to be made throughout all phases of construction including design works, supervision, and implementation in order to save the lives of employees and ensure their safety.

The code says that consultant engineers and contractors are responsible for the overall safety of a construction project throughout the implementation period and thereafter according to the prevailing laws and local order in this regard. Their responsibility also extends to buildings close to the construction site and any other public facility that may be affected by the works. They are also responsible for the safety of all employees and those present at the site or close to it.

The code also lists in detail the types of construction site accidents, work injuries, responsibilities for prevention of accidents, reporting of an accident, investigation into accidents, writing accident reports, vocational health and environment control, personal protection equipment, fire safety, storing of goods at construction sites, excavation works, concrete and block works, steel structure works, tunnels, dams, demolition works, welding works, electricity-related risks, insulation for power sources, hazardous chemical materials, road works, cranes…etc.

Arabic and English copies of the code are available for sale at the Customer Service Centres of the municipality for a price of Dhs100 each.

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