The Importance of Construction Site Safety

Dangers on a construction site are plentiful: moving machinery, working at height, heavy and bulky materials and tight and confined spaces are just some of the risks that are readily identifiable.

The International Labour Organization estimates that there are over 250 million work-related accidents every year. A 2014 article in Construction Management magazine claims that 19.5% of all fatal accidents at work occur in the construction industry. Shocking statistics, it is fair to say, but perhaps not close enough to home to change attitudes and behaviour?

A recent crackdown on the construction industry in Abu Dhabi saw the city municipality issue 67 offences and 53 warnings to building contractors and consultants for ‘failing to create a safe working environment’.

Of the offences recorded at construction sites several citations included unsafe work at height, failure to service firefighting equipment and non-compliance with personal protective equipment.

The message is clear: construction sites must comply and ensure that contractors and consultants abide by environment, health and safety (EHS) standards to maintain the safety of employees, protect against the risk to life and mitigate against potential hazards in the workplace.

Building a culture of safety compliance

There is no one solution and the reality is accidents will always happen. Providing employees with the tools to identify and manage risks is a necessity when trying to reduce potential harm. Education and improving compliance through knowledge and qualifications must come to the fore.

To help employers in the Middle East and Asia improve the standards of EHS we have recently launched a suite of internationally recognised health and safety qualifications for construction. These short courses provide construction workers with the knowledge and attitude they need to ensure compliance with health and safety standards:

The focus on improving health and safety is not a flash in the pan, but is part of a sustained approach that is being replicated not only in Abu Dhabi but across the Gulf Cooperation Council. The municipality said it would continue the campaign across all building and construction sites in Abu Dhabi.

Following the inspections, the municipality released a statement, which read: 

‘The inspectors also made a number of observations and directives aimed at improving health and safety on-site and ensuring that all requirements are met’.

At Highfield we are keen to play our part in reducing the harm caused by avoidable accidents in the construction sector. With the increased scrutiny on health and safety and the growing importance of equipping workers with the knowledge and qualifications to avoid non-compliance, the worldwide figures for death in the construction industry will only head in one direction. 

Highfield chairman to speak at Dubai food safety event

Dubai food safetyHighfield Chairman Richard Sprenger will be speaking at an event this March to promote food safety. 

The Effective Cleaning for Food Safety seminar, held on 20 March 2017 at The Convention Centre, Roda Al Bustan Hotel, Dubai, has been arranged by Pulseberry in conjunction with MidChem, Ecoleaf and Highfield, and with support from Dubai Municipality Food Control Department. 

The event is CPD endorsed, meaning delegates will be awarded 6 CPD points by Highfield. The flyer can be downloaded:

Dubai event March 2017  

Anyone interested in attending the event should email

Highfield MEA director meets with top UAE Sheik

Highfield MEA Director Rebecca Sprenger had the honour recently of meeting with one of the United Arab Emirates most important dignitaries, Sheik Nahyan bin Mubarak.

Becky and the SheikThe meeting, which took place earlier this year, was to discuss training and education across the UAE in general, as well as Highfield MEA’s role in helping to upskill the workforce of the Middle East in terms of food safety and in particular, the Person in Charge programme in Dubai.

Rebecca met the Sheik, who heads the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Social Development in the UAE capital, Abu Dhabi. The Sheik, who is the son of Mohammed bin Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, is also Chairman of the Centre of Excellence for Applied Research and Training (CERT), the commercial arm of the Higher Colleges of Technology, and has been the sponsor of the Emirates Natural History Group for a number of years.

Rebecca said, ‘It was a great honour to meet the Sheikh and have the opportunity to talk with him. He has done an incredible amount of work over the years for the UAE, particularly in terms of skills and development, so it was a great opportunity to discuss that with him. He is also keen on improving the education of young people across all of the UAE, providing them with vital life skills such as first aid, food safety and health and safety’.

For more information on Highfield MEA, go to

Keynote speech for Highfield Chairman at international conference

food safety conference in BahrainHighfield Group Chairman Richard Sprenger will be the keynote speaker at this year’s Food Safety Conference in Bahrain.

The event, held from 15 to 17 April 2014 and now in its second year, saw delegates from the food and hospitality sectors around the globe descend on the Bahrain International Exhibition Centre for a series of presentations, forums, demonstrations and discussions in food safety.

Delegates also got the chance to attend a number of HABC workshops on its qualifications including the Level 3 Award in Effective Auditing and Inspection Skills, the Level 2 Award in HACCP for Catering, the Level 2 Award in Food Safety for Catering and the Level 2 Award in Emergency First Aid at Work.

It was the second major speech for the Highfield Chairman this year, who in January 2014 had spoken at a seminar in Doha, Qatar about the importance of a ‘person in charge (PIC)’ in implementing good food safety measures – something that has already happened in Dubai with help of HABC.

‘PICs must ensure that food handlers are trained about hygiene before they start work,’ said Richard.  ‘They must also ensure that their food suppliers are registered and approved by appropriate authorities in order to trace the origin of any food contamination’.

For more information on HABC’s work in the Middle East, go to