Informa Markets

Author Bio ▼

Safety and Health Practitioner (SHP) is first for independent health and safety news.
February 19, 2008

Get the SHP newsletter

Daily health and safety news, job alerts and resources

Downpours don’t dampen Middle East enthusiasm

The annual Intersec exhibition in Dubai (13—15 January) and the IOSH Middle East Conference brought together regulators and key stakeholders in the region, and boosted membership of the fast-growing IOSH Middle East branch.

Despite the challenges of an unscheduled Dubai public holiday, and extensive flooding bringing roads to a standstill — with the planned two-day safety conference merged into one, conference delegates and visitors were determined to brave the floods. Intersec Dubai is the largest exhibition in the region, covering commercial security, police, homeland security, health and safety, and fire and rescue. This year’s event attracted some 800 exhibitors from 53 countries registering a 27 per cent increase on last year’s show.

The IOSH stand attracted around 600 visitors over three days, and there were up to 200 enquiries to follow up.

The main areas of interest for visitors to the stand included membership benefits; requests to become a licensed trainer; enquiries about CPD courses; wanting to complete courses locally; developing contact with the Middle East Branch and further networking opportunities; and previewing the Managing and Working Safely packages.

Ray Hurst, IOSH president, said: “Some delegates told us that it had taken them two hours to complete a journey that would normally take 10-15 minutes. We eventually finished up with our speakers from both days and 80 delegates. Feedback on the IOSH conference is very positive, though, and I thank all our speakers for their perseverance and the high quality of their presentations.”

The significance of the event was reflected by a remark from one delegate from Dubai Municipality, who said he had “never seen so many regulators in one room together”. Many saw IOSH as a facilitator in bringing together regional public sector and commercial experts.

In his keynote address, Ray pointed to global statistics that show 2.3 million work-related deaths around the world annually; 350,000 fatal accidents; and 2 million cases of fatal disease. Construction is the most hazardous industry, with an estimated 60,000 fatal accidents worldwide a year — approximately one every 10 minutes.

Construction safety is top of the UAE OSH agenda, with 3-5 million workers needed to service projected building growth in Dubai. Ray said the economic costs of accidents and ill health at work amounted to 4 per cent of the world’s gross domestic product, not taking account of the human suffering involved.

Related Topics

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments