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The workshop took place in May this year. (Image source: ICC)

HSE

After signing an agreement in February 2024 to enhance building safety and construction standards in Oman, the International Code Council (ICC) and the Ministry of Housing and Urban Planning (MoHUP) initiated a workshop series in Muscat in May 2024.

This project, focusing on safety standards, sustainability, and technology integration, aims to be completed by early 2026. The three-day workshop series is designed to develop six comprehensive building codes specifically tailored for Oman.

Oman's adoption of these new codes, based on the 2021 International Codes (I-Codes), will elevate national standards and promote best practices, ensuring citizen safety and positioning Oman as a leader in construction safety and sustainability.

The initial workshops brought together key stakeholders, including government officials, design professionals, and industry experts. Over the three days, discussions covered the project scope, findings from the ICC’s exploratory trip, research, local construction practices, and regulatory systems.

These sessions fostered in-depth conversations, identified key gaps, and concluded with strategic recommendations for enhancing Oman’s building codes. This collaborative effort ensures that the new codes will be comprehensive and aligned with Oman’s future aspirations.

The foundation of the ICC's 2021 International Codes (I-Codes) allows for a consensus-driven approach to code development.

The success of their adaptation in Oman depends on active involvement from local stakeholders. Through these extensive workshops, Oman is customising the I-Codes to suit its specific needs, ensuring broad support and effective implementation.

The opening of the new facility. (Image source: Honeywell)

Industrial

Honeywell has opened its first assembly line dedicated to fire alarm and building management solutions in Saudi Arabia, in line with its strategy to increase localisation in the Kingdom in focus areas

The new facility in Dhahran will provide local and regional markets with Saudi-made products that meet the highest local and international industry standards and will boost the company’s building automation capabilities in the region. It will streamline the delivery process of world-class building automation and critical safety technologies, enabling faster and more efficient distribution of products to customers.

“Around the world, and especially within this region, we are seeing clear alignment between national visions and goals and the need for safer, efficient, smart and sustainable infrastructure,” said Phil Daniell, VP and GM of Honeywell - Business Automation in Middle East, Turkey and Africa. “Urban populations are increasing, and through automation technologies we are able to help cater to this expanded need while helping to tackle carbon emissions and driving efficiency through smarter and safer technology.”

Abdullah Al-Juffali, Honeywell country president of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, added, “This new facility not only enhances our capability to serve our customers with locally manufactured solutions, but also solidifies our commitment to contributing to the Kingdom’s industrial and technological advancements."

The new uvex phynomic cut glove range is manufactured in Germany using 3D hand ‘formas’ to mimic the contours of the hand. (Image source: uvex)

PPE

uvex has announced the launch of new safety eyewear and safety gloves, which it will be showcasing at the Health and Safety Event in Birmingham, UK from 30 April-2 May

Employers have a legal duty to safeguard employees from stress at work. (Image source: Canva)

Training

Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and NEBOSH launched a new one-day qualification aimed at managing and controlling stress in the workplace.

Figures from the HSE indicate that stress, depression, or anxiety were the primary causes of work-related ill health in 2021/22, accounting for 17 million lost working days. Work-related stress can be triggered by six main factors: demands, control, support, relationships, role, and change.

Employers have a legal duty to safeguard employees from stress at work by conducting risk assessments and implementing necessary measures. The new NEBOSH HSE Certificate in Managing Stress at Work equips managers with the knowledge to identify and mitigate workplace stressors proactively.

HSE’s Working Minds Campaign

Throughout April, the HSE has been advocating for employers to adopt five straightforward steps to prevent and reduce workplace stress. These steps, encapsulated in the 5 Rs, are: reaching out and having conversations with employees to discuss their stressors and concerns, recognising the signs and causes of stress in the workplace, responding to any risks identified by taking action to address and mitigate them, reflecting on the effectiveness of the measures implemented, and making stress management a routine part of regular workplace practices.

The course is based on the HSE's current methodology for managing and controlling work-related stress. It provides an overview of the fundamental principles of work-related stress and its link to mental health issues. The course targets individuals responsible for employee wellbeing or managing workplace stress, including health and safety professionals, HR professionals, occupational health professionals, line managers, and supervisors.

By offering this qualification, HSE and NEBOSH aim to empower organisations to foster healthier work environments and reduce the prevalence of stress-related illnesses, ensuring better mental health and productivity for employees.

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