The number of factories in Abu Dhabi that have been certified for their compliance with occupational safety and health standards increased 11 per cent in 2019 to reach 457 compared with 406 factories in 2018, according to the 2019 annual report of the Industrial Development Bureau (IDB) of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED).
The report looked into the accomplishments and activities of IDB’s Department of Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) during the previous year, specifically the implementation of the environment and occupational safety and health standards in all industrial facilities in Abu Dhabi.
The report noted that raising the awareness of staff and workers is a fundamental part of the emergency plans of different industrial facilities in the emirate. Their awareness initiatives include training their workers concerning proper response during fire and other incidents. A total of 375 emergency drills took place in 2019 in the emirate, up 14 per cent from 321 in 2018.
H.E. Mohammed Munif Al Mansouri, Executive Director, ADDED’s IDB, said that ensuring the industrial sector’s conformity to Abu Dhabi’s occupational safety and health standards, improving industrial practices, and providing a safe and healthy work environment for all are among the bureau’s main priorities.
As part of its mission, IDB has been regularly organizing workshops for industrial facilities to enhance their knowledge about occupational safety and health procedures. Through these workshops, the bureau has been meeting the needs of various facilities as well as ensuring workplace safety and health in the emirate. The bureau aims to inform all stakeholders in Abu Dhabi’s industrial sector about global work safety practices, rules and regulations for increased compliance level.
Citing the findings of IDB’s 2019 report, Al Mansouri pointed out a 71 per cent reduction in the number of warnings issued by the bureau to erring faciltities in Abu Dhabi. A total of 28 warnings were issued in 2019 compared with 96 in 2018.
During the same period, ADDED conducted 750 audits and inspections. The HSE Department, on the other hand, hosted 26 workshops for industrial facilities, up 31 per cent from 2018.
Al Mansouri said: “IDB will continue its efforts concerning environmental protection and sustainability and the implementation of workplace safety and health standards in the industrial sector. To ensure our success, we will maintain our cooperation with various concerned government entities.”
IDB’s initiatives included connecting 400 industrial facilities to the ‘Hassantuk’ system and developing the ‘Estidama’ program that caters to industrial facilities. ‘Estidama’ aims to improve the industry’s carbon footprint as well as promote power conservation and waste recycling, while ‘Hassantuk’ was launched by the Ministry of Interior to ensure speedy response to all emergency incidents and fire accidents that threaten the safety of individuals. Both initiatives are in line with the country’s vision to become one of the safest countries in the world.
About 60 per cent of the industrial establishments in Abu Dhabi are now connected to ‘Hassantuk,’ many of which have been classified as high-risk.
Another accomplishment featured in the 2019 report was ADDED’s unified technical evaluation system for industrial facilities, in addition to implementing a mechanism to monitor the risks and accidents involving loading and unloading procedures within the local industrial sector.
In addition, IDB finalized its survey last year focusing on 483 industrial facilities whose licenses expired between 1997 and 2019. The survey was conducted for the ADDED’s technical evaluation project. IDB inspected these industrial facilities to update its data and check their current situation. Through these visits, the Bureau reconciled 73 per cent of the industrial licenses that expired in 2018.
Further, in August last year, ADDED issued an administrative resolution allowing the trade of secondary industrial products in the industrial sector. The resolution was designed to increase the internal recycling of secondary products and reduce industrial waste. Furthermore, the department launched in 2019 a guidebook on safety and security procedures concerning the industrial facilities’ loading and unloading activities in private ports in Abu Dhabi.