Investigators recommend random inspections of UAE worksites

Hundreds of employees suffer injuries at work

A team of investigators has recommended random workplace inspections and heavy fines for negligent employers in the United Arab Emirates.

The team, consisting of four scientists from UAE University and McGill University in Montreal, made the recommendations after finding 614 work-related hospital admissions in Al Ain, the country's fourth-largest city, over a 14-month period.

The investigators have also urged health and labour ministers to train and deploy sufficient numbers of industrial hygienists and safety inspectors at construction sites, workshops and farms as soon as possible.

Of the injured workers, 98 per cent were foreign men, mainly Pakistanis, Indians and Bangladeshis, between 25 and 44 years old.

The study, published by the Research Affairs Sector of the UAE University found injuries included steep falls (51 per cent), animal-related (seven per cent) and burns (six per cent). The majority of injuries affected the head, chest and abdomen.

The study found most of the injured workers were taken to hospital by private car and nearly one per cent of patients admitted to hospital died.

Among its many recommendations the team said all deaths and injuries requiring hospitalisation should be investigated.

"Violating employers should be fined, punished, and even imprisoned, depending upon the degree of wilful negligence," stated the report.

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