Home to the world’s tallest building, Dubai faced criticism on building the very first skyscraper – The World Trade Centre in 1979

The Council of Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat has reviewed 2013 as the second most successful year on record for skyscraper construction, up 318 percent since 2000.
Dubai’s skyline continues to grow, with the 72-storey JW Marriott Marquis Hotel last year becoming the world’s tallest hotel and the 823-m Burj Khalifa (163 floors) retaining the top spot globally. Of the 73 buildings completed in 2013, 16 percent entered the list of 100 Tallest Buildings in the World. Three of the five tallest buildings completed are in the United Arab Emirates, for the second year in a row.

While the country continues to create history globally, there was a time when the same world looked at it with skepticism when the very first skyscraper -The World Trade Centre was opened in 1979 surrounded by miles of empty desert. It was the tallest building in Dubai & in whole of UAE. It was the first skyscraper along the Sheikh Zayed Road.
Watch out for this short documentary created by BBC that takes you down the memory lane and symbolizing great progress Dubai and UAE has gained in a very short span of time.

Dept. Of Marketing and Communication, Expotrade Middle East

Source : BBC , CTBUH

The Western Australian mining industry faced multiple deaths in 2013, while 2012 was fatality free

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30th January 2013, Perth, Australia: The WHS Act commenced on 1st January 2012 and was passed by the Commonwealth aiming to harmonise occupational health and safety within Australia. NSW, Queensland, Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory adopted the Act immediately; with South Australia and Tasmania adopting the Act on 1st January 2013. However, Western Australia, along with Victoria are yet to adopt the Work Health Safety Act 2011.

On 29th November 2013, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten called for Victoria and Western Australia to harmonise their OHS laws. Mr Shorten claims by adopting the new laws “it will reduce red tape and deliver safer workplaces”. While Victoria does not have plans to implement the WHS Act; Western Australia plans to adopt the Act early this year, however, to date there has been no announcements confirming when the WHS Act will be adopted. Western Australia still disagrees with the following four areas of the WHS Act: penalty levels, union right to entry, health and safety representatives’ capacity to direct cessation of work and reverse onus of proof in discrimination matters.

Last year, the Western Australian mining industry was faced with multiple deaths and serious injuries. Fortescue Metals went under scrutiny for their safety practices after a worker was injured at the end of 2013. They breached safety procedures and two workers were killed at their Christmas Creek mine. Australian Mining reported that “while there have been no mining fatalities in the Midwest for almost five years, the Department of Mines and Petroleum said the recent incidents were troubling”.

Simon Ridge, Resources Safety Executive Director, Department of Mines and Petroleum has made comments about the recent incidents and deaths stating “it is unsettling and disappointing that these incidents have occurred, so it is up to my inspectors to get to the root cause”. Research indicates that incidents such as these typically occur due to human error, distractions and poor safety cultures.

The mining and construction industry face other safety issues such as fatigued workers. University of Sydney’s Dr Margaret Chan states “workers take short cuts when they are really tired. They may ignore safety signage in the same way a person influenced by alcohol could”. She also expressed that there needs to be a “greater emphasis on the importance of recovery. Managers should ensure workers take regular breaks and should also provide facilities allowing workers to recover from the fatigue and stress that comes with working in high-risk environments.” 

At the Western Australian Safety in Construction Conference, attendees will hear from the following experts Max Crowther, Safety Manager, Thiess Australia, Catherine Herriman, Regional SHE Manager Western, Leighton Contractors and Mick Buchan, Secretary WA, CFMEU. Key stakeholders involved at the Conference include National Safety Council of Australia, Force Access, ProjectLink and St Johns Ambulance.

More information on the Western Australian Safety in Construction Conference 2014 can be found at www.safetycon.com.au.   

50 Victorian construction workers seriously injured every week

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20th January 2014, Melbourne, Australia: Prior to 2012, each state operated under different OHS laws, when the 2011 Work Health and Safety Act was introduced to ensure that each state took a harmonised approach to Work Health and Safety. Yet the state of Victoria, along with Western Australia is still yet to adopt the Work Health Safety Act.

Currently Victoria is still compliant with the OHS Act 2004, with the Victorian Government vocal about that fact that they will not change over to the WHS Act. In his budget speech 2012 The Hon Kim Wells MP, Treasurer of Victoria said “The Government will not sign up to the current proposal for harmonised legislation for occupational health and safety. It offers little benefit for Victoria to offset the $3.4 billion of estimated costs, the majority of which falls on small business. Victoria will continue to work towards best practice legislation.”

Based on Comcare’s comparison of the WHS Act and OHS Act in relation to the construction industry, the main differences seem to be that the WHS Act is very comprehensive and doesn’t allow room for grey areas like the OHS Act does. Many comments have been made around the fact that Australian businesses should adopt a “best practice” approach rather than worrying about differences between the Acts. However, there are still key areas that are different in the new WHS Act; including the meaning of ‘director and officer duties’ and ‘consultation’.

Workplace injuries occur in all industries; nevertheless, they are extremely prevalent within the Victorian Construction industry. Worksafe Victoria statistics state that “every week, 50 Victorian construction workers are seriously injured and have to stop work, often because basic site safety is not up to scratch”. According to Worksafe Victoria “The Victorian construction industry employs around 225,000 Victorian workers – one of the state’s fastest growing industries”. Based on these findings it’s evident that the state of Victoria still has a long way to go to ensure safety precautions are taken to avoid construction injuries.

Workplace health and safety issues and hazards are not always the fault of the employee often the organisation is at fault as they have not carried out proper due diligence to ensure work site safety standards are up to scratch. Other factors that contribute to these issues and hazards include when a worker is affected by drugs and/or alcohol. Organisations that employee foreign workers can put themselves at risk if they don’t extend OHS education to foreign workers about Australian Safety Standards.

Rather than just ensuring compliance with the OHS law, organisations must embed a safety culture into their organisation; rather than just ensuring compliance with OHS law. It isn’t enough to say you’re taking a best practice approach when it comes to Safety.  The Victorian Safety in Construction Conference will address ‘Why Victoria will not adopt the new WHS Harmonisation Laws?’ Participants will also hear about ‘Identifying Safety Risks on a Major Construction Project Site.’

The Victorian Safety in Construction Conference fosters an environment for key stakeholders from the Victorian construction industry to gather and discuss the issues at hand. Some of the industry leaders presenting at this Conference include: Kate Smolenski, OHS Manager, Lend Lease, Sarah Quinton & Walter Caoduro, HSE Managers, Probuild Victoria and Geoff Thomas, Regional SHE Manager, Southern, Leighton Contractors.

More information on the Victorian Safety in Construction Conference 2014 can be found at www.safetyaus.com.au

Doha gears up to be a Smart City with Arab Future Cities Summit 2014

7-8 APRIL 2014 I SHERATON DOHA

Doha will once again play host to the Middle East’s premier smart cities event, Arab Future Cities Summit on 7th and 8th April, 2014 at Sheraton Doha Resort and Convention Hotel. Under the patronage of H.E. Sheikh Abdul Rahman Bin Khalifa Al Thani, Minister for Municipality and Urban Planning, State of Qatar, this event will attract over 300 high profile senior executives to discuss the progress and future requirements for constructing smart cities across the MENA region. With a focus on knowledge sharing and networking, the 3rd annual Arab Future Cities Summit 2014 will showcase best practice strategies and opportunities in the pipeline for city development through presentations from local thought-leaders and international smart city experts, and the innovative solutions that will integrate citizens, systems and services.
With a worldwide hype around smart cities, improving the lives of people in cities and driving the economy has become a prime concern for most of the Middle East countries. Not far behind, World Economic Forum has ranked Qatar as the most competitive economy in the Middle East region and placed it at 13th position last year globally based on a high-quality institutional framework, stable macroeconomic conditions and an efficient goods market. Sustainable development is one of the key pillars of the vision that aims at safeguarding natural resources through various initiatives by the public and private sector, and driving this mission, Qatar has promised to deliver a carbon-neutral FIFA World Cup in 2022.
Arab Future Cities Summit 2014 will address key challenges in water and energy supply, transport and mobility, sustainable development and citizen engagements through technology and intelligent urban policy. Exponential growth in ICT, product innovation, smart water and electricity grids are few of the topics that will connect government authorities, developers, urban planners, investors, academics, cutting-edge technologists and international experts interested in contributing to the development of Qatar’s cities.

Charlene Corrin, Conference Producer from Expotrade Middle East, the organizers of the event, believes that smart cities market in the Middle East is booming. “Qatar is undertaking over $120 billion worth of projects in the lead up to the 2022 FIFA World Cup and it’s been announced that Dubai will be transformed into a Smart City, after recently winning the bid to host the World Expo 2020. The strong vision and commitment of city leaders within the Gulf region make it a very exciting time for companies getting involved in these urban development projects”. Businesses like Itron, Selex ES, and 3SC World are looking forward to showcasing innovations and solutions that will provide direction towards sustainable city development in the Middle East market through this partnership. This summit is a must-attend for all key stakeholders committed to creating smarter cities. To enquire more about the summit, please visit www.arabfuturecities.com

ARAB FUTURE CITIES SUMMIT 2014 gets featured in Qatar Construction Sites magazine

ARAB FUTURE CITIES SUMMIT 2014 gets featured in Qatar Construction Sites magazine

Catch the article on our premier smart city event – Arab Future Cities Summit 2014 in the Jan 2014 issue of Qatar Construction Sites Magazine. Doha will once again play host to the conference on 7th and 8th April, 2014 at Sheraton Doha Resort and Convention Hotel. Under the patronage of H.E. Sheikh Abdul Rahman Bin Khalifa Al Thani, Minister for Municipality and Urban Planning, State of Qatar, this event will attract over 300 high profile senior executives to discuss the progress and future requirements for constructing smart cities across the MENA region.