UAE authorities have warned companies they face severe penalties if they fail to provide a safe working environment for employees.
In a social media post, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation told employers to ensure they follow health and safety rules. These include:
- Ensure working areas are not used to store material, equipment or rubbish and that sufficient space around machinery is provided to allow workers to move freely and avoid injury
- Take necessary precautions to protect workers from falling objects
- Fill potholes and drain stagnant water on the premises
- Provide fire-resistant equipment
- Mark entrances and emergency exits
Under Article 342 of UAE law, employers can face up to five years in prison and be fined if found guilty of causing injury or death of a person due to negligent behaviour. This includes workplace accidents.
In August, a company in Jebel Ali, Dubai, was convicted after a worker was run over by a forklift and suffered hip and leg injuries.
The man was sleeping on the ground when a colleague reversed the vehicle over him.
A report by the emirate’s police and municipality concluded the company had been negligent and had not followed safety procedures.
Dubai Civil Court ordered the employer to pay the injured man Dh200,000 ($54,450) in compensation.