Electrician paralysed in workplace accident



DUBAI // An electrician left paralysed by a workplace accident that threw him five metres into the air was not given enough tools, training or supervision, a court has heard.

M?F, 22, an Indian, was fixing an air-conditioning compressor in Al Qusais Industrial Area 5 on July 17, 2010, when an electric shock threw him into the air.

A colleague working with him at the time said they cut off the power to start working on the compressor about 9pm.

"I saw him suddenly get electrocuted and thrown in the air. Then he landed on the ground," testified the Bangladeshi mechanic J?S, 22.

Prosecutors said the electrician used his hand to measure the power of electricity in the cables, instead of a meter.

K?P, 25, a partner at the maintenance company that employed the electrician, was charged with negligence.

Prosecutors said he failed to provide the electrician with the tools or training to prevent the incident, and left him unsupervised.

The company partner, also from India, pleaded not guilty at the Dubai Misdemeanours Court. He said the company provided all workers with safety tools and required them to sign a receipt to prove it.

"On the day of the incident, the electrician was late for work so he headed to the air-conditioning's location straight from home without passing by the company, therefore he went without his safety tools," the partner said.

He said the company covered the expenses of the man's three-month hospital treatment, the cost of his wheelchair and paid him Dh35,000 in compensation.

A verdict is expected on May 23.

salamir@thenational.ae

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Founders: Premlal Pullisserry and Lijo Antony
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Investment stage: Seed

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Key changes

Commission caps

For life insurance products with a savings component, Peter Hodgins of Clyde & Co said different caps apply to the saving and protection elements:

• For the saving component, a cap of 4.5 per cent of the annualised premium per year (which may not exceed 90 per cent of the annualised premium over the policy term). 

• On the protection component, there is a cap  of 10 per cent of the annualised premium per year (which may not exceed 160 per cent of the annualised premium over the policy term).

• Indemnity commission, the amount of commission that can be advanced to a product salesperson, can be 50 per cent of the annualised premium for the first year or 50 per cent of the total commissions on the policy calculated. 

• The remaining commission after deduction of the indemnity commission is paid equally over the premium payment term.

• For pure protection products, which only offer a life insurance component, the maximum commission will be 10 per cent of the annualised premium multiplied by the length of the policy in years.

Disclosure

Customers must now be provided with a full illustration of the product they are buying to ensure they understand the potential returns on savings products as well as the effects of any charges. There is also a “free-look” period of 30 days, where insurers must provide a full refund if the buyer wishes to cancel the policy.

“The illustration should provide for at least two scenarios to illustrate the performance of the product,” said Mr Hodgins. “All illustrations are required to be signed by the customer.”

Another illustration must outline surrender charges to ensure they understand the costs of exiting a fixed-term product early.

Illustrations must also be kept updatedand insurers must provide information on the top five investment funds available annually, including at least five years' performance data.

“This may be segregated based on the risk appetite of the customer (in which case, the top five funds for each segment must be provided),” said Mr Hodgins.

Product providers must also disclose the ratio of protection benefit to savings benefits. If a protection benefit ratio is less than 10 per cent "the product must carry a warning stating that it has limited or no protection benefit" Mr Hodgins added.

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Based: Dubai, UAE

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Funding: $40 million

Investor: Opportunity Venture (Asia)

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Sector: Microfinance
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Investment stage: Series A
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Industry: Refurbished electronics
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Mercer, the investment consulting arm of US services company Marsh & McLennan, expects its wealth division to at least double its assets under management (AUM) in the Middle East as wealth in the region continues to grow despite economic headwinds, a company official said.

Mercer Wealth, which globally has $160 billion in AUM, plans to boost its AUM in the region to $2-$3bn in the next 2-3 years from the present $1bn, said Yasir AbuShaban, a Dubai-based principal with Mercer Wealth.

Within the next two to three years, we are looking at reaching $2 to $3 billion as a conservative estimate and we do see an opportunity to do so,” said Mr AbuShaban.

Mercer does not directly make investments, but allocates clients’ money they have discretion to, to professional asset managers. They also provide advice to clients.

“We have buying power. We can negotiate on their (client’s) behalf with asset managers to provide them lower fees than they otherwise would have to get on their own,” he added.

Mercer Wealth’s clients include sovereign wealth funds, family offices, and insurance companies among others.

From its office in Dubai, Mercer also looks after Africa, India and Turkey, where they also see opportunity for growth.

Wealth creation in Middle East and Africa (MEA) grew 8.5 per cent to $8.1 trillion last year from $7.5tn in 2015, higher than last year’s global average of 6 per cent and the second-highest growth in a region after Asia-Pacific which grew 9.9 per cent, according to consultancy Boston Consulting Group (BCG). In the region, where wealth grew just 1.9 per cent in 2015 compared with 2014, a pickup in oil prices has helped in wealth generation.

BCG is forecasting MEA wealth will rise to $12tn by 2021, growing at an annual average of 8 per cent.

Drivers of wealth generation in the region will be split evenly between new wealth creation and growth of performance of existing assets, according to BCG.

Another general trend in the region is clients’ looking for a comprehensive approach to investing, according to Mr AbuShaban.

“Institutional investors or some of the families are seeing a slowdown in the available capital they have to invest and in that sense they are looking at optimizing the way they manage their portfolios and making sure they are not investing haphazardly and different parts of their investment are working together,” said Mr AbuShaban.

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“In this environment, we have seen a de facto increase in the risk that clients are taking in things like illiquid investments, private equity investments, infrastructure and private debt, those kind of investments were higher illiquidity results in incrementally higher returns.”

The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, one of the largest sovereign wealth funds, said in its 2016 report that has gradually increased its exposure in direct private equity and private credit transactions, mainly in Asian markets and especially in China and India. The authority’s private equity department focused on structured equities owing to “their defensive characteristics.”

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Friday:

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Saturday:

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Open men
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England 85 (3) beat India 81 (1)

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Australia 121 (4) beat South Africa 52 (0)

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Under 22 women
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Centre Court (4pm)
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Court 1 (4pm)
Milos Raonic (6) v Albert Ramos-Vinolas (25)
Anett Kontaveit v Caroline Wozniacki (5)
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Court 2 (2.30pm)
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To finish: Sam Querrey (24) leads Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (12) 6-2, 3-6, 7-6, 1-6, 6-5
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Sebastian Ofner v Alexander Zverev (10)

Court 3 (2.30pm)
Grigor Dimitrov (13) v Dudi Sela
Alison Riske v Coco Vandeweghe (24)
David Ferrer v Tomas Berdych (11)

Court 12 (2.30pm)
Polona Hercog v Svetlana Kuznetsova (7)
Gael Monfils (15) v Adrian Mannarino

Court 18 (2.30pm)
Magdalena Rybarikova v Lesia Tsurenko
Petra Martic v Zarina Diyas

Opening day UAE Premiership fixtures, Friday, September 22:

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  • Jebel Ali Dragons v Abu Dhabi Harlequins
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