Safety First

Wheeling ahead

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Summer picking up and also it’s time to save on daily living expenses. Many are opting to cycle their way to work. You can get to see here the big brothers trying to show their power ahead. Motorised two-wheelers that doesn’t require any registration are increasing in numbers. Watch your way when you are on the wheels as many of these riders do not follow any safety rules and just zoom past on signals, even when it is red.


Suicidal acts for publicity should be discouraged

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It is absolutely a suicidal act craving for personal publicity. Public display and wide dissemination of these type of acts through print and online media, in particular social media create an urge in young minds to try and do a similar or different type inviting possible chances of death or permanent injuries.
I suggest the videos should be removed from the web and those who do such things should be punished so that there is a sense of fear among others who may attempt such things in future and prevent them from doing so. Congratulations to Dubai Police for taking the first step to warn such people.

Letters to the editor, The National dated 20 February 2017 on the topic

Dubai police summon Russian model who dangled from Cayan Tower

Rain and Thunderstorm 09th March 2016 Abu Dhabi

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Rain and Thunderstorm 09th March 2016 Abu Dhabi

UAE is experiencing bad weather these days and it is our primary objective to value safety on the roads, not only for us, but also for our fellow drivers. Safety starts before you drive, and our goal should be to see and be seen. Replace windshield wiper inserts that leave streaks or don’t clear the glass in a single swipe. Make sure all headlights, taillights, brake lights and turn signals are properly functioning so other drivers will see you during downpours. Turn on your headlights whenever you drive. Proper tire tread depth and inflation are imperative to maintaining good traction on wet roadways. Check each tire’s pressure, including the spare, at least once a month… and be sure to check the pressure when the tires are cold.

Also, please note to:

• Avoid Cruise Control
• Slow Down and Leave Room
• Respond carefully to a Skid

Fill it, Dig it, Forget it! – Kadugodi Whitefield Road that WORKS

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In an year how many times this small stretch of road at Kadugodi Whitefiled has been filled, digged again and then left like that! Pathetic! Even the tractor guys are finding it difficult to drive. So you can imagine how difficult it is for cars and two wheelers. The way the work for pipeline is being carried out at one point here, I feel, very soon, they will find oil here! No one can drive. Not to forget the speed at which the two wheelers ride on these roads. So, imagine the plight of those elderly or children who walk through this stretch to the Volvo Bus stand or Whitefield Railway station. Authorities – please open your eyes and do a neat job, once and for all.

IMG_20150924_090649 IMG_20150924_090700 IMG_20150924_090718 IMG_20150924_090721 IMG_20150924_090746 IMG_20150924_090759 IMG_20150924_090853 IMG_20150924_090954 IMG_20150924_091007 IMG_20150924_091034 IMG_20150924_091039 IMG_20150924_093922 IMG_20150924_093932 IMG_20150924_093943

Use registered taxis for safety and comfort

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Use registered taxis for safety and comfort

Use registered taxis for safety and comfort
Use registered taxis for safety and comfort
Use registered taxis for safety and comfort
Use registered taxis for safety and comfort
Use registered taxis for safety and comfort
Use registered taxis for safety and comfort
Use registered taxis for safety and comfort
Use registered taxis for safety and comfort
Use registered taxis for safety and comfort
Use registered taxis for safety and comfort
Use registered taxis for safety and comfort
Use registered taxis for safety and comfort
Use registered taxis for safety and comfort
Use registered taxis for safety and comfort
Use registered taxis for safety and comfort
Use registered taxis for safety and comfort
Use registered taxis for safety and comfort
Use registered taxis for safety and comfort
Use registered taxis for safety and comfort
Use registered taxis for safety and comfort
Use registered taxis for safety and comfort
Use registered taxis for safety and comfort

Abu Dhabi Airport arrival is changing day by day. In the earlier days when passengers arrive, they are welcomed by two types of people. One, their or friends or family and second the illegal taxi operators hanging around. As the authorities renovated and made things beautiful at the arrival section, they also came out with a dedicated section for Taxis. No more stopping and following by unauthorized taxi operators, whose vehicle condition or status are unknown. Travel safe. Enjoy your stay in Abu Dhabi. Thanks to Abu Dhabi Airport authorities for this welcome change.

Strict safety norms should be enforced

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Strict safety norms should be enforced
Reader is concerned about workers ignoring safety measures when at construction sites.
Abu Dhabi
World Day for Safety and Health at Work is being celebrated tomorrow, April 28, and our highest priority should be oriented towards the principle of prevention of danger.
A look at some of the maintenance activities being carried out by the staff of some companies that work on the installation of advertisement stickers on high rise buildings within the capital made me write about this important safety issue. They use the suspended scaffolding to paste these stickers on the windows. However, observing them at close quarters I noticed that most of them were not wearing appropriate safety gear.
My fear aggravated when I noticed that a group of construction workers who were working on seven-storey building were carrying out their jobs without wearing any safety gear. This was alarming and there was no way I could reach out to them and inform them to adhere to safety measures.
These two observations highlight the need for stricter enforcement of safety norms. We do note that companies have strict safety guidelines in place for the welfare of their workforce. However, there is always an exception. Some companies even hire part-time workers, and it appears that safety is not a matter of priority for them and precautionary measures are sidelined. This is dangerous as even a minor miss may end up in loss of life or permanent injury to the worker involved.
Through this report, I request the concerned authorities to consider this matter and enforce stricter rules for workers who engage in jobs at high altitudes. The need for a standard acknowledgement and acceptance to conform to safety standards is essential when permits for such jobs to be carried out are issued.
Let ‘Safety First’ be on everyone’s mind at all time. Keep reminding each other and remembering with a strong inner sense the three key notes: ‘Safety for me, for you and for everyone’ as a mantra to achieve better safety results.
— The reader is an operations manager based in Abu Dhabi.

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TheNational@7: Citizen journalists answer the call

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TheNational@7: Citizen journalists answer the call

The sight of two window washers working untethered on a narrow 13th-floor ledge of an Abu Dhabi high-rise was shocking.
They were equipped with the proper safety gear but had detached themselves from their safety ropes, leaving them at risk of falling to their deaths on the bustling street below.
The startled witness to this casual disregard of safety was Ramesh Menon, a technical officer at an oil firm who recorded it with his camera then alerted both the building management and also The National.
The effect was swift and emphatic: the window washers’ employer had its contract with Abu Dhabi Mall cancelled with immediate effect.
But because it was also featured in The National, publicity about the incident sparked a debate among those living here about the sometimes lax culture of safety in the UAE, including an editorial calling for zero tolerance towards those who take safety shortcuts as well as a flurry of letters to the editor on the subject.
What it also demonstrated in a wider sense is the way in which The National is an active part of our community. The newspaper does not just inform and entertain those living in the UAE – that flow of information goes both ways.
In Mr Menon and countless other ordinary people going about their lives, the newspapers’ eyes and ears in the community extend far beyond those of our reporters.
This is what the American playwright Arthur Miller was getting at more than half a century ago when he defined a good newspaper as “a nation talking to itself”.
Anyone who wants to know the hot topics of UAE society need only see how our readers express themselves, either through letters or on The National’s social media feeds on Facebook and Twitter.
Rising rents and the general cost of living, the plight of children caught in conflict zones, driver behaviour on the country’s roads, animal cruelty, the property market’s fluctuations, whether mothers should be compelled to breastfeed new babies, gratitude for the UAE’s accommodation of followers of other faiths, the process of Emiratisation and concern with the welfare of those on the bottom rungs of the economic ladder are all topics on which The National’s readers voice strong views.
We have learnt to listen and take heed when an issue ignites our readers, shaping our response with the input of the community.
In the best cases, this dialogue can both highlight a problem and lead to its solution. In the window washers’ case, it meant there did not need to be a tragedy – for the negligent window washer or any innocent pedestrian walking below – before action was taken.
The same dynamic applied when another reader’s tip alerted us to theplight of two puppies – one with a paw deliberately hacked off and the other with damage to its foot pads – that were abandoned in the desert outside Dubai and left to die.
Our readers were shocked by this wanton act of cruelty, but it ended happily for Stumpy and Bernard, as the two puppies were named by their rescuers. Readers donated more than Dh7,000 – enough to pay for their medical treatment – and this included Dh3,000 from an American reader who saw the story on The National’s website.
The best news came from a couple who read The National. Hank Harrington, a helicopter pilot with Dubai Royal Air Wing, and his wife, Lynn,adopted the puppies, who will have a large garden to play in when the couple relocate to Britain in six months.
These are but a couple of examples of the wave of instances of what has been dubbed “citizen journalism”.
This mirrors the changes that have taken place since The National’s first edition was published seven years ago. It seems like ancient history now, but social media networks, microblogging sites and smartphones were all in their infancy on April 17, 2008.
Facebook had only 80 million members then, compared to 1.4 billion now; Twitter members were collectively sending an average of just about 1 million tweets per day, a fraction of the 50 million now; and the iPhone had been launched in the United States less than a year earlier. Today the UAE has the highest per capita use of smartphones in the world.
These forces combined to enable those living here to interact with The National in a way unimaginable to previous generations of journalists. Now, when there is a multicar pile-up on a foggy road or a major fire in the UAE, we receive images from readers in minutes. Comments on The National’s website come from every corner of the world.
This is as it should be, when a newspaper is having a dialogue with the community it was established to serve.

My thank you note:
It was surprising to see a special mention about me in the 7th Anniversary edition of The National! Safety First. Let the mantra within us be “Safety for Me, Safety for You and Safety for ALL”.
Thank you The National team. 

Safety rules are being breached

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Safety rules are being breached

I have seen workers in harnesses installing billboards or putting stickers on high-rises. But when I looked closely, I noticed that most of them did not have adequate safety gear. This has happened on more than two occasions.
Once, I was frightened for a group of men who were working on a seven-storey building without any protective gear whatsoever. I am sure that these are not stray cases. People will continue to flout the safety rules if such lapses are not reported.
At the same time, strict enforcement of rules is necessary.
It’s mostly smaller companies that ignore the rules as they engage contract or part-time workers. 
They need to be monitored all the time.

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi
To read it in original, please visit The National online.

Ten UAE residents share their experiences with road rage – Gulf News Dt 15 February 2015

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Dubai: Those who pick up bad road habits seldom consider the consequences of their actions which may lead to severe road hazards.
Though texting while driving, among other bad road habits, has become as frequent as using car indicators, the action remains unjustifiable.
Gulf News reveals some bad experiences of UAE residents on the road, including their reaction to some of the incidents they encountered.
Colonel Jamal Al Bannai, Acting Director of Dubai Traffic Police, said that Dubai Police urge people to follow traffic rules and regulations. “People should not underestimate those violations, even if they think it’s minor, because they can lead to traffic jams and accidents.”
He added that people put their lives and the lives of others at risk by committing these offences, because they are not fully aware of the dangers of what they are doing.

Dubai Police, Al Bannai said, do not go easy on offenders and issue them fines.

“Speed thrill and impatience are two of the worst driving habits I’ve witnessed on the roads in the UAE. When it’s winter and foggy, early morning hours on highways are dangerous due to poor visibility. Poor visibility added with impatience of some drivers becomes one of the main reasons for accidents during this time. But, fog is not always the case. Two recent instances still haunt my memory and were caused by speeding. One day, a speeding car ignored the warning signs on the road and ended up colliding with the roadwork barriers on the highway. The car later caught fire. In another incident, a young man on a motorbike was speeding and weaving through the traffic that was halting due to an accident. He was driving so fast that he couldn’t brake. He ended up hitting another vehicle ahead. Both situations could have been averted had they been patient on the road.”

Speed limit – Gulf Today – Dt 14 February 2015

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Speed limit
The other day, I was in a car driven by a young colleague. She was keen to show her driving skills to us and was driving well. At some point of time, I felt she was going a bit fast or above the limit. Not to discourage her, we started talking about the road safety issues, particularly speeding.
She was too fast to understand the point of view and said to us, “I am driving through this road every day. I know where the cameras are placed and where to reduce the speed. Do not worry.”
Do we get to read the mind of the other drivers on the road at the same time with us! Do we get to know in advance, if they do a dangerous fast move cutting across our pathway? Will it be possible to control the vehicle at that point if we too are speeding? No, will be my answer at all times. Road safety is of utmost importance, particularly caution towards speeding. After a particular speed, it would be impossible to control the vehicle, how much ever skilled one is. It is, therefore, advisable to stay within the speed limit and adhere to the road safety instructions set by the authorities.
Let safety for you, for me and for all, be remembered and reminded whenever we are on the road.

Ramesh Menon  
Gulf Today – Short Take Dt 14 February 2015
To read it in original, please visit Gulf Today online