Bahrain to double worksite inspectors
Manama, January 31, 2012
Bahrain’s authorities are doubling the number of inspectors who monitor Bahrain's worksites in an attempt to reduce the number of serious accidents, said a top official.
The Labour Ministry is taking action after documenting 25 work-related deaths last year, explained labour inspection directorate manager and trade union director Ahmed Al Haiki.
It investigated 145 separate worksite accidents last year, which is one every two-and-a-half days.
A total of 143 workers were injured in those incidents, 63 of them seriously.
The Labour Ministry is now beefing up the number of its inspectors and Al Haiki said it would get tough with companies that put their employees at risk.
'We have started awareness campaigns and invited construction and contracting companies to attend lectures on workers' health and safety by experts,' he said. 'We are also creating a new organisational chart and will hire more inspectors. We currently have only 40 inspectors and are planning to double the number within a few months.
'We will hire 40 more inspectors, taking the total number to 80. Their responsibility will be to go to sites and inspect health and safety measures. They will also check if the workers and companies are following labour laws and wearing safety uniforms.”
'We are going to be stricter now and companies ignoring laws will face penalties. Instead of waiting for accidents to take place, we should prevent them by following rules and regulations,” he added.
He said a lack of awareness by employers and employees was a major factor in causing accidents.
'There is lack of awareness among workers and supervisors, due to which fatal and serious accidents take place,' said Al Haiki.
'Most companies use cheap equipment and labour, due to which there will be more chances of accidents to happen. A lack of training is another factor.'
The ministry is now printing brochures and posters in six languages for distribution at worksites.
'Although these brochures will be in different languages, if workers are unable to understand our inspectors will try to explain when they meet them,' added Al Haiki. 'We are also going to hold meetings every month and expect supervisors, managers and owners to attend.' – TradeArabia News Service