The 5 most risky jobs in the UAE are...

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For the majority of us, our jobs require very little, if at all, physical risk.

The only time we may be exposed to risk, perhaps, is when we are out on the roads, driving from home to work. But then, nobody lives in a cocoon and this much of exposure is but part of a very normal life.

And at the end of the day, we may have a healthy bank balance – enough to lead a decent life and support a family – a package where comforts certainly outweigh the so-called perils.

But then there are those in the world, and in this country, whose seemingly mundane jobs are attached with more risks than usual. An online poll run by Emirates 24|7 reveals the five most risky jobs in the country.

#1 High-rise window cleaners

An office in a high-rise building in Dubai promises beautiful views, but to be able to enjoy the sights, the windows have to be clean at all times. Cleaning windows in a high-rise building poses great challenges and only the brave hearts can do it.

The Emirates 24|7 poll reveals that this job is perceived the most dangerous one in the country, with exactly half (50 per cent) of the respondents identifying it as the most dangerous job in the country.

Hazardous it may seem, but today’s high-rise window cleaners follow strict safety norms that have been issued by the municipality, says an expert in real estate who did not wish to go be named.

For people who like their feet on the ground, window cleaners for the tall buildings in the country may seem nothing less than Tom Cruise in stature. However, cleaning companies try to minimise the risk by using the latest technology and adhering to municipality guidelines.

#2 Construction workers

The next most dangerous job on the list is that of construction workers. Thirty per cent of respondents opted to say that the UAE’s construction workers’ jobs were the most dangerous.

As in any other part of the world, fatalities in this job happen because of falls, transportation incidents, contact with objects and equipment, and exposure to harmful substances or the environment.

However, the municipality urges construction workers to be aware, identify and avoid site hazards.

Dubai municipality has strict codes for health and safety at construction sites. “All levels of management from director to site supervisor have a responsibility to ensure that those people working under their control are not exposed to unnecessary risk whilst they are at work,” states the municipality with detailed guidelines given.

In fact, the Abu Dhabi Municipality launched a campaign last year aimed at helping construction workers identify and avoid site hazards and life-threatening incidents, in order to minimise the risks.

#3 Fire-fighters

If it was left to us, we’d vote fire-fighting as the most dangerous profession. But in our poll, readers identify this as the third most dangerous job in the country.

In any fire accident or incident, fire-fighters are the real heroes, and they have to risk their lives. Saving others’ life while putting one’s own life in jeopardy is noble but risky, and is voted as the most dangerous job by 8 per cent of respondents in the poll.

#4 Drivers of heavy trucks/trailers and cabbies

An equal number (5 per cent) of the respondents said that drivers of heavy trucks/trailers and cabbies have the most dangerous job on hand.

Taxi drivers and those who drive heavy trailers are perceived as dangerous due to the risk of traffic accidents.

To minimise the risk, Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) is working actively to reduce accidents caused on the roads.

Statistics show that the accident rate involving taxis has come down by half since 2009. According to figures released by the RTA, the taxi accident rate has fallen to 0.26 per 100,000 kilometres from 0.60 per 100,000 kilometres in 2009.

The drop in accident numbers is followed by a series of measures taken by the RTA, including reward programmes, appreciation awards, safety campaigns and continuous training of drivers.

#5 Sanitation workers

Last on the list of the most dangerous jobs in the country is that of sanitation workers. Two per cent of the respondents voted to say this was the riskiest job.

Sanitation workers fill a variety of job roles, including janitors and cleaners, cleaners of vehicles and equipment and refuse and recyclable material collectors, earning a reputation of being risky.


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