Manoher Raghavan looks at how choosing the right solutions can maximise productivity, cost efficiency and ensure worker safety in the MEP sector.
Despite MEP playing one of the most fundamental roles in construction, the industry faces a number of challenges in fulfilling MEP requirements accurately in the Middle East region.
While a number of these challenges range from tight project timelines to completing multiple tasks and delivering results without compromising on either safety or productivity, the major problem for professionals in the industry is finding the right mix of products and solutions that cater efficiently to the sector's needs.
It faces a challenge in finding products like abrasives, which should do more than improve the cut and finish on metal surfaces, to solutions for electrical splicing and terminating, and from passive fire protection products to personal safety and protection solutions for the workplace. What's more, the selected solutions need to be both safe and efficient: especially for meeting the standards expected of construction projects across the Middle East.
With the increase in incidents related to fires, fire prevention and protection is the number one concern for the region's construction industry - especially with workers using equipment that runs on high electrical voltage and that includes potentially dangerous parts. This has given rise to greater awareness on the need for fire protection and accordingly, appropriate fire codes for buildings have been put into place in projects throughout the region.
The industry also needs to select a number of specific, passive fire protection products for fire containment, including those that can fire-stop through penetrations, perimeter joints, structural steel, emergency circuitry and air ducts.
Recently developed passive fire protection products for through penetration including sealants, caulks, wraps, pillows, composite sheets, mortars, sprays, coatings and cast in-situ accessories, approved under the UL, FM systems and other international codes, are among the most efficient fire safety solutions for major international airport projects and substations, oil and gas facilities and high-rise hospitality and tourism projects around the Middle East, and some of which have been used to save lives and equipment in the region for several years.
The personal safety of workers is a top priority in any workplace, and those employed in the construction industry require a diverse range of safety equipment for a variety of different situations.
Construction sites can be particularly challenging working environments, with a number of potential problems to worker safety, including prolonged exposure to noise-polluted areas, excessive heat and humid working conditions, dangers against flying particles from metal cutting, sweeping, sanding and welding processes and a host of air-borne particles and mist onsite.
Health and safety industry personnel should always ensure to keep safety solutions across the entire spectrum on site - everything from respirators, eye protection wear, face protection wear, head protection, hearing protection and welding shields and helmets.For added benefits, they should choose products that meet applicable international Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations, and that are designed to ensure worker comfort.
Workplace safety is of equal importance to ensure safe and incident-free surroundings for multi-tasking employees, who may work under risky conditions and put in long hours to keep pace with time frames of fast-track projects in the region.
The importance of workplace safety signage and warning tapes for fast and effective ways to guide and control passage in restricted and hazardous areas should also never be understated; while anti-slip tapes and threads for better traction and improved slip and fall resistance in greasy, oily and wet areas; room air purifiers for total clean air solutions and work area matting that helps improve the safety, can all help to ensure the comfort and productivity of employees - especially those who spend an extensive amount of time on their feet.
Performance, efficiency and productivity in metalworking
Performance, efficiency and productivity are critical factors in metalworking - one of the central elements in construction. Using abrasive technology with advanced synthetic formulation provides industry players with an even greater scope to improve productivity, operational efficiency and workforce welfare, enabling end users to benefit from more advanced end results.
Setting new standards for grinding, refining and finishing metal components; products that are capable of delivering excellence in abrasive performance will help the industry to deliver the required competitive edge.
Designed for cross-over compatibility with every type of application, the technologies incorporated into modern abrasive discs, brushes, wheels and belts are designed for all types of metals. Because the surfaces on these modern abrasive devices - like those developed by 3M - last several times longer than conventional abrasives, there are a range of cost-saving benefits to be enjoyed.
These include fewer operations in the finishing process, reduced downtime from fewer belt changes, a smaller number of rejects, less pressure required leading to reduced operator fatigue and time saved on subsequent polishing, cleaning and plating operations.
3M also offers innovative and differentiated electrical solutions for saving time and money on splicing and terminating cable and wire in construction projects. This includes solutions to identify, label, connect, seal and splice a wide array of low to high voltage wire and cable, and because 3M products reduce variability in installation, it equates to an increase in safety and an overall reduction of installation time.
Manoher Raghavan is business development manager for 3M Construction Markets Middle East & Africa Region. As an extension to total solutions for the MEP industry, 3M also provides a range of services for customers in the Gulf construction sector through the 3M Construction market initiative team.For all the latest construction news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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