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29 February 2024

Call for audits on materials used by subcontractors

BSU alert says the manoeuvring took place without the consent of the site foreman. (EB FILE)

By Staff Writer

Buildsafe UAE's (BSU) weekly safety alert (80) reported an incident of dangerous manoeuvring that took place without the consent of the site foreman.

A steel fixer required to move from one area of site to another and insisted that the tower crane operator moved him. Reports revealed that the tower crane was fully trained and knew that this type of lift was dangerous but fortunately there were no fatal injuries.

Actions being taken include taking formal disciplinary action against the crane operator, holding tool box talks, providing additional access staircases and a full review of the way personnel move around site.

Meanwhile, a utility transmission line crew used a crane with glass sun roof thinking that it will allow a better view of the load. However, the glass created an optical illusion making it difficult to see the overhead transmission lines. It has become necessary to brief workers to preferably to remove the glass when approaching minimum approach clearances.

While all types of asbestos fibre (blue, brown and white) are classed as a Grade One Carcinogen by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and through inhalation, can cause fatal respiratory diseases in humans, a new investigative finding during the routine inspection of a number of fire pump, sprinkler and generator rooms have found that Chrystile (white) asbestos present in the insulation found was 100 per cent asbestos. The use of the asbestos is a direct breach of the UAE cabinet Resolution 39 of 2006.

BSU recommends that measures should be incorporated at the design stage to avoid such a situation, and contractually agreed between client and contractor. Audits on the materials utilised and installed by subcontractors should be undertaken during the construction stage. If materials suspected of containing asbestos are found within buildings (old and new) confirmatory sampling and analysis should be undertaken by an accredited and competent organisation.


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