DM launches worker welfare body

Committee for environment and health of labourers is set up in Dubai following calls to improve conditions

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By  Conrad Egbert Published  November 18, 2006

Dubai Municipality has established a permanent committee to monitor and report on the health and living conditions of site workers. The Follow Up Committee for Environment and Health of Labourers in the Emirate of Dubai was launched following last week’s directive from the Ruler of Dubai, HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, which included a series of measures aimed at improving the working and living conditions of construction workers. Salim Bin Mesmar, director of the Public Health Department at DM explained that the new committee would have a different remit to the existing Permanent Committee of Labour Affairs, which was set up following a spate of demonstrations over pay and conditions. He said: “This committee is different to the Permanent Committee of Labour Affairs (PCLA) in that it deals only with health issues. “The PCLA is part of the federal government and deals with issues like strikes and non-payment of wages, while the new committee is being formed by DM and is part of the Dubai Government, and will oversee health and living conditions of the workers.” The committee, chaired by the director of the Public Health Department at the Municipality, will consist of the head of the Environmental Protection and Safety Section, head of Building the Inspection Section and head of the Clinic and Community Health Section. The committee will review the environmental conditions and health of labourers at their work sites, as well as their accommodation, and suggest modifications on these standards and conditions. It will also follow up with company owners to ensure that suitable working environments and accommodation are provided to labourers. The new body will have the power to form working groups to carry out field work in order to implement improvements.

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