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Mon 26 May 2008 02:21 AM

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Tough new health rules to protect labourers

Dubai construction sites will be made to adhere to strict standards under new regulations.

Stringent health and safety rules are to be introduced to protect labourers on Dubai’s construction sites, health officials said on Sunday.

Affordable and accessible basic care will be provided "as a matter of course", under plans by the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) which aim to prevent workers becoming seriously ill and placing further pressure on the health service, an official told UAE daily The National.

“For me, occupational health is a top priority. We want to impose more rules and standards,” Qadhi Saeed Al-Murooshid, director general of the DHA , said, adding that a major overhaul of the health system would be announced in the coming months.

“We cannot afford to leave out any segment of the community. We will be looking after everyone, from the top chief executive to the unskilled worker."

Although some firms had been proactive in health and safety, the emirate had a long way to go before construction sites become sufficiently safe, Al-Murooshid said.

“We need to protect their health. To prevent the problem on construction sites we will be saving lives, saving their health and also saving hospital beds.”

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