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Sat 12 Sep 2009 04:00 AM

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Move into third gear

With Eid around the corner and the ‘busy season’ looming, we’re expecting things to get a little out of hand up here in the Construction Week towers.

With Eid around the corner and the ‘busy season’ looming, we’re expecting things to get a little out of hand up here in the Construction Week towers.

Cityscape comes to town next month, and we’re looking forward to it with keen interest since the show has become a sort of testing ground for the regional construction industry. Just like the exhibition was used as a benchmark to judge the health of the sector last year, this year it’s being watched even more closely. Fingers crossed.

The Construction Week Conference is also not too far off - in November, followed by what has come to be known as the industry’s event of the year, the much anticipated Construction Week Awards. This year we’ve included several people awards, in order to recognise individuals who make a difference in their fields and to their companies.

Construction Week has always upheld best practice within the industry and so in appreciation of others who do the same, it has included a special award – The Build Safe UAE Award for Best Practice. BSU has been doing some great work and we love those who love doing great work. The idea for this additional award came out of a meeting between Build Safe coordinator Elias McGrath and myself, a couple of weeks ago.

As we all know, health and safety, particularly the issue of falls from height, is not being dealt with adequately, to say the least. And from my understanding, the reasons for this broadly fall into two categories: one – some companies, usually the smaller ones (a cliché I know, but the sad truth nonetheless) don’t care much about safety issues or can’t afford it, and two – the importance of safety isn’t explained enough to the workers. Many HSE officers that I’ve spoken to have expressed frustration over workers having a couldn’t-care-less attitude towards safety. But I don’t believe that anyone, whether a company CEO or an illiterate worker, wouldn’t care to keep his own life.

Thanks to the recent media coverage, we already know how much (or less) some companies care for their workforce. Now, we’d like to see who, and how many companies, take health and safety seriously. Hopefully, this award will put on a pedestal that company, which shows superior intelligence and the best business sense by protecting its biggest asset - its workforce.

This is the last week to submit your nominations for the awards. Nominations close at 6pm Tuesday, so please do hurry.

Conrad Egbert is the editor of Construction Week.

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