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Sat 7 Apr 2007 12:00 AM

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CITB to crank up local safety training

Construction Industry Training Board has been asked by UAE contractors to help bring workforce up to speed.

The UK's Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) has introduced its safety training modules into the region off the back of demand from UAE contractors, who claim they face challenges when it comes to training a majority of their staff on health and safety procedures.

"Several construction companies here asked us to begin providing safety training modules, as a lot of their workers are from undeveloped construction markets, and are not used to working with mandatory international safety procedures," said Michael Dwyer, head of global business development, CITB.

"Most of the workers here come from markets like India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, where safety procedures are not a priority and so they do not understand the importance of following them."

Last month, CITB joined forces with ETA Ascon's consultancy division, ETA Consultancy, to deliver its "Construction Skills - Site Safety Plus" courses to the construction industry in the Middle East.

"Our courses have reduced construction-related hazards in the UK, and from the facts and figures that have been released here in the past, it seems that companies in this region would do well to train their staff in these procedures," added Dwyer.

M Kamarajan, general manager at ETA Ascon for health, safety and environment, said that the company would offer courses to management and supervisors, and then move on to labourers working on site.

"We need to train the supervisors and middle management first in order to be able to implement safety procedures. If they don't know or aren't motivated enough to implement them, how can one expect a large group of workers to implement them on their own?"

Kamarajan added that the training courses would initially only be available in the UAE, but would later be rolled out in other GCC countries.

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