The Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) has launched Safety Awards to be given annually to consultants, contractors and other entities related to RTA projects in a bid to ensure its partners adopt the best safety practices.
Comprising four categories, the Safety Award 2010 will recognize the Best Safety Consultant, the Best Safety Contractor, the Best Government Strategic Partner and the Best Health, Safety and Environmental performance by an Agency or Sector.
As part of its strategy and commitment to safety, RTA has set a number of judging criteria for consultants and contractors before entering the 2010 Safety Award. The criteria examine safety systems of those entities to ensure safety is applied in all operations of the organization. According to the criteria, the systems should include regular management of safety, ongoing planning of safety improvement, strategy to identify, assess and control hazards, integrated approach of safety in consultation with workplace parties and improvement in safety at the workplaces.
The four safety awards stemmed from RTA’s Chairman of the Board & Executive Director, H.E. Mattar Al Tayer’s initiative which envisages RTA’s strategy on “Safe and Smooth Transport for all.” These awards are designed and developed to encourage RTA’s partners to adopt the best safety practices and ensure occupational safety at RTA workplace. To ensure implementation of safety standards set by the RTA, a Higher Committee of the Award was established and headed by Amair Saleem, Director of Safety Regulation & Planning under RTA’s Strategy and Corporate Governance Sector.
Abdul Mohsin Ibrahim Younes, CEO of Strategy and Corporate Governance Sector said: “These Awards aim at raising safety awareness amongst the individuals and various organizations and encouraging them to play a proactive and constructive role in supporting RTA to enhance Safety at construction sites as well as at workplaces.”
Younes said that the safety awards also aim at reinforcing the leading role of RTA in fostering the partnership and cooperation across all organizations, set the concept and practices of safe design, construction and operation high on the agenda of local organizations and general media, and increase the ownership of safety and social responsibilities at all social levels, particularly with other stakeholders.
He added that RTA assigns utmost priority to occupational safety in all projects and activities undertaken. All RTA’s operational agencies have exclusive departments or sections for Quality, Health, Safety and Environment directly concerned with auditing procedures in place to ensure safety, security and environment conservation at all work sites inside and outside RTA.
“Compliance with the standards of occupational health & safety system while executing projects is one of the RTA’s main strategies. All projects undertaken by RTA are designed and implemented at the highest safety standards, and are subjected to a thorough assessment at all stages to ensure that the construction operations are in line with the international standards related to projects occupational safety,” said Younes.
As part of an on going strategy, all RTA’s projects are subject to safety assessment and audit spanning contractors and consultants. Following the operation process, all facilities are subject to periodical technical inspection and audit by RTA’s Maintenance & Operation Departments. They are also subject to independent assessment by Safety, Risk and Regulation & Planning Dep’t of the Strategy & Corporate Governance Sector. This Dep’t conducts surprise & scheduled visits to construction sites and projects and submits reports directly to H.E. Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the RTA. Amair Saleem Director of Safety Regulation & Planning added that the safety process adopted by RTA is very much a modern risk based that is focused on prediction and prevention i.e. to systematically assess and identify the risks during design in order to eliminate or control during construction / operation.