ABU DHABI // More than half of 614 work-related industrial injuries resulted from falls, a study found that covered 26 months of hospital admissions found.
Falling objects were the second-most common cause of injury on project sites, making up 15 per cent, the UAE University research, published last year, revealed.
One recent victim was Nathear Mohammed, a 26-year-old Afghan, who reportedly died immediately after a metal pole fell from a crane at a Ghantoot construction site and hit his head last week. Police said it was unknown if the worker was wearing a hard hat at the time, but whether he was or not will have little impact on the penalty the company face.
"Currently, regulations are too broad," said a spokesman for Abu Dhabi Municipality. "For example, there is no specific rule about workers not wearing hard hats on site."
The spokesman said it was likely this particular incident would fall under Law 16. The legislation was established last year and regulated construction activities. It cited that the fine for the lack of provision to protect workers on project sites was Dh10,000.
However, what these provisions and precautions were, such as the required wearing of hard hats, were not defined. The fines for violating the law started at Dh5,000 and could reach up to Dh100,000, he said.
"These regulations will be revised to specify actions for worker safety," he said, "such as wearing hard hats and covering details on the appropriate manner to handle various construction objects and vehicles, such as scaffolders, cranes and bulldozers."
The regulations, the spokesman added, were expected to come out next year and were being developed in collaboration with the emirate's Department of Municipal Affairs to cover Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Al Gharbia.
* With reporting by Haneen Dajani, Mitya Underwood, Suryatapa Bhattacharya and Yasin Kakande