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IOSH lauds Oman for raising standards of workplace safety

MUSCAT, 25 April 2012 – BankMuscat hosted key representatives of the world's largest body for occupational safety and health yesterday (Wednesday 25 April) who praised the efforts of Oman in raising standards of workplace safety and health of workers. The endorsement came at the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) Middle East conference, which arrived in Oman for the first time in its three year history. The annual conference attended by 130 delegates and VIPs at BankMuscat head office shared the vision of developing safer, healthier workplaces across the region, to reduce deaths, injuries and ill-health and protect livelihoods of workers.

Subash Ludhra, IOSH President, said: “As the Oman economy continues to grow, it is more important than ever for employers and health and safety professionals to focus on risk management, to protect the lives of workers and their health, helping to mould a safe, healthy, happy and more profitable workforce."

Essam al Sharji, CSR Manager at BankMuscat, said: “BankMuscat is proud to host this important conference, attended by heads of companies and organisations dedicated to improving health and safety in workplaces across the Middle East region."

Since 2008, Ministerial Decision 286 has given Omani workplaces a new set of regulations in occupational safety and health, designed to improve protection for workers across the country.

Subash Ludhra added: “The Ministerial decision 286 is a platform from which Oman can build upon its health and safety improvements. IOSH Middle East is keen to share its health and safety expertise, advising on best practice and working with organisations and government to develop guidance and codes of practice to raise standards further."

Ludhra praised BankMuscat for its support in hosting the event and highlighted the quality of its new health and safety initiative launched last year, in association with IOSH. The initiative has made the organisation a frontrunner in health and safety in the banking industry in Oman.

Essam Sharji added: “As ambassadors for health and safety in the banking community in Oman, BankMuscat is committed to providing the ultimate reward of an accident-free workforce by developing safety management systems that ensure the health and safety of staff, customers and members of the general public. Our policies are developed to prevent and avoid health and safety risks."

At the opening ceremony, the Oman Society of Contractors (OSC) presented its Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) Awards 2012, praising innovative and successful practices of companies across the country. In the OSC member category, the first place went to Galfar Engineering and Contracting, with the second prize to Al Hassan Group of Companies and the third place to Bahwan Engineering Company. The winner of the non-member category was L&T Electromech, with CCC in the second place and Powertech Engineering in the third place.

Presentations at the conference covering a range of health and safety topics included the new Muscat Airport construction project by COWI-Larsen. Haya Water highlighted its safety culture while Petroleum Development Oman stressed on achieving road safety success in the Middle East region.