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

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."

DGHR team highlighted several projects aligned with the department's agenda to upgrade human resources in Dubai. (Image source: Canva)

The Dubai Government Human Resources Department (DGHR) recently held a meeting with human resources managers and executive directors from various government entities in the emirate.

Chaired by H.E. Abdullah Ali Bin Zayed Al Falasi, Director General of DGHR, the meeting took place at Al Ittihad Museum to introduce attendees to the department's major ongoing and proposed projects aimed at improving workforce efficiency and integrating best practices into the government’s work system.

During the meeting, the DGHR team highlighted several projects aligned with the department's agenda to upgrade human resources in Dubai and establish methodologies to empower the government workforce. One key project discussed was the initiative for Measuring Workforce Productivity in the Government of Dubai, which offers precise data and indicators on workforce productivity across government entities. This framework aims to evaluate performance and improve government sector efficiency, supporting the objectives of ‘We the UAE 2031’ and sustainable development goals.

Another focal point was the ‘Dubai Government Jobs Engineering’ project, designed to enhance human resource practices, including compensation and wages, learning and career development, and workforce planning. This project addresses current and future workforce needs of government entities. The meeting also covered the ‘Empowering Human Resources Departments in Government Entities’ project, which provides departments with resources to stay updated on workplace changes and improve HR professionals' skills through specialised training and best practice applications.

Future skills

The ‘General Framework for Government Human Resources Training - Future Skills Dubai’ project was discussed for its role in creating a competitive workforce equipped with skills for future changes, supporting digital transformation, and bolstering the UAE’s national economy. This project will connect training, advisory, and academic entities through a smart platform to facilitate knowledge exchange and improve training effectiveness.

The meeting also reviewed the ‘Human Resources Law, Policies, and Regulations’ project, which aims to develop a unified framework for integrated government human resource management. This project focuses on creating flexible policies based on modern best practices. Additionally, the ‘Financial Allocations Decision Review’ project was discussed to evaluate the competitiveness of compensation and allowances to attract and retain top talent.

H.E. Iman Bin Khatam, Director of Policy and Programme Support at DGHR, said, “At DGHR, we recognise the significance of cooperation, coordination, and collaborative efforts between the department and various stakeholders of Dubai government and this meeting comes in line with this belief. The key goal of the meeting is to enhance human resource capabilities in the emirate and swiftly attain the desired outcomes, further shaping a better future for this sector. We seek to adopt innovative approaches and integrate global best practices in our efforts to enhance the Emirati workforce as well as to support them to seamlessly adapt to rapid changes and meet future requirements. These ambitious projects aid us to establish a cohesive and supportive work environment that improves employee productivity, contributes attaining Dubai Economic Agenda ‘D33’ goals, and reinforces Dubai’s prominent position in the global economy.”

The MIITE Forum took place from 27-28 May this year. (Image source: WAM)

NMDC Group reinforced its commitment to the national industrial strategy through its gold sponsorship and active participation in the third edition of the Make It In The Emirates (MIITE) Forum, which took place from 27-28 May in Abu Dhabi.

The company’s dredging and marine (D&M) division showcased the D&M Dredging Academy, which delivers specialised training across various fields including soil mechanics, fluid mechanics, pipelines, survey techniques, land reclamation, nautical knowledge, health and safety, and project management.

Tech for safety

Additionally, NMDC Energy demonstrated a suite of innovations aimed at enhancing operational efficiencies, safety, and sustainability, while advancing digital transformation within the industry. The Connected Workers Solution, an AI-driven system, enables real-time safety monitoring and optimisation of yard operations. This technology is part of a broader initiative, the Yard Modernisation Initiatives Program, which represents a significant investment of AED 100,000,000 aimed at increasing productivity, enhancing efficiency, and reducing operational costs.

The showcase also featured an augmented reality device designed to equip frontline workers with essential information through a voice-enabled, head-mounted display.

This technology significantly enhances safety and efficiency in task completion. Additionally, NMDC Energy exhibited Remote Operated Vehicles (ROVs) used for underwater tasks in harsh offshore conditions.

These vehicles utilise advanced technology to perform detailed inspections, maintenance, and repairs, eliminating the need for human divers and improving operational safety and efficiency.

Ahmed Al Dhaheri, NMDC Energy CEO, said, "Our participation in the Make It In The Emirates Forum was marked by exciting showcases that demonstrate our leadership in the sector and commitment to technological innovation. Our displays included state-of-the-art equipment designed for complex underwater operations and advanced wearable technology that provides critical information directly to our frontline teams, among others. These advancements reinforce our commitment to pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in our field, significantly enhancing operational capabilities in line with the UAE’s Operation 300bn strategy to transform the industrial sector.”

Currently, the UK has one gigafactory, AESC UK in Sunderland, which supplies batteries for Nissan’s electric vehicles. (Image source: Adobe Stock)

Matthew Parr from Hughes Safety Showers discusses with SHP Online the growing importance of emergency safety showers and eye/face washes in gigafactories, as their prevalence increases across Europe.

As governments and policymakers recognise the urgency of prioritising sustainability, the shift towards electric vehicles is becoming more apparent in Europe.

In March 2023, the European Parliament approved new legislation to ban the sale of petrol and diesel cars from 2035. While the legislation awaits approval from the European Council, the momentum towards embracing all-electric vehicles is undeniably accelerating.

Unit sales of new electric vehicles in Europe are expected to reach 3.44 million by 2028, with an additional 1.4 million plug-in hybrid vehicles. As demand for electric vehicles grows, so does the need for lithium-ion batteries.

Currently, the UK has one gigafactory, AESC UK in Sunderland, which supplies batteries for Nissan’s electric vehicles. Across Europe, the number of gigafactories is expected to increase, with Germany, Hungary, and France projected to host 19 of them.

Given the nature of materials and processes involved, gigafactories are associated with significant risks. Understanding and addressing these risks is essential for ensuring the safety and well-being of the growing workforce in this sector.

Manufacturing risks

Lithium-ion batteries are made up of four primary components: cathode, anode, separator, and electrolyte. Improper handling, overcharging, short-circuiting, or overheating of these batteries can lead to significant dangers such as expansion, splintering, and leakage, which pose serious workplace hazards.

While automation in the manufacturing process and the correct use of PPE can help protect workers from hazardous materials, employers must remain vigilant. If electrolytes leak or spill from a battery, they can react with air and water to form hydrofluoric acid.

What are the effects of a hydrofluoric acid burn?

Abbas Kanani MRPharmS, superintendent pharmacist at Chemist Click, explained the dangers hydrofluoric acid poses when it comes into contact with the body.

He said, “Hydrofluoric acid is one of the strongest acids that causes corrosive burns and can also involve underlying bone. It is highly toxic and damaging. Contact with high-concentration products can be fatal.”

When a person first comes into contact with hydrofluoric acid, they’ll experience severe pain at the site of the burn. Kanani elaborated stating, “There may be swelling, slow-healing burns, blisters or a rash present and pain can occur even if there are no visible burns.”

The lasting damage can be significant too, with Kanani adding, “Skin damage can take a long time to heal and can result in severe scarring. Eye exposure can cause permanent blindness or total destruction of the eye.”

In the event of accidental contact with hydrochloric acid, a thorough decontamination as quickly as possible for at least 15 minutes is essential to remove any residual chemical.

The UAE delegation will hold several bilateral meetings with international stakeholders. (Image source: WAM)

The UAE is participating in the fourth edition of the International Conference on Nuclear Security: Shaping the Future, organised by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) from 20-24 May at its headquarters in Vienna, Austria.

This event is being held in accordance with the resolution GC(66)/RES/7, adopted at the 66th General Conference in September 2022, which called for the continuation of organising the ICONS every four years.

The conference aims to raise awareness about nuclear security to maintain and strengthen national nuclear security regimes for nuclear and other radioactive materials. It seeks to share nuclear security experiences, achievements, and current trends among member states. The conference serves as a global platform for ministers, policymakers, senior officials, and nuclear security experts to discuss the future of nuclear security worldwide, providing opportunities for exchanging information, sharing best practices, and fostering international cooperation.

The UAE delegation, led by Ambassador Hamad Al Kaabi, UAE Permanent Representative to the IAEA, includes various national stakeholders such as the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR), National Guard Command, National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority, Abu Dhabi Police, Dubai Police, Abu Dhabi Civil Defence Authority, The Emergencies, Crisis and Disasters Management Centre - Abu Dhabi, and Nawah Energy Company.

Ambassador Al Kaabi delivered the UAE National Statement, highlighting the strong relationship between the IAEA and the UAE. He emphasised the robust partnership that has provided significant support over the past decade, aiding the country in developing a peaceful nuclear programme that meets the highest standards in nuclear safety, security, and non-proliferation.

“The UAE Peaceful Nuclear Programme has become a role model for being built and operated with excellence, and adhering to the highest standards of safety, security, and safeguards. Such a milestone reflects the unwavering government commitment in the UAE, coupled with the strong cooperation with our national and international partners that made us where we are today,” Ambassador Al Kaabi said.

Bilateral meetings

Over the five days of the conference, various themes will be addressed, including policy, law, and regulations for nuclear security; technology and infrastructure for nuclear security prevention, detection, and response; as well as capacity building.

FANR will present four technical papers to highlight the UAE’s experience in implementing nuclear security measures during Expo 2020 Dubai and COP28, evaluate the implications of Small Modular Reactors on nuclear security, and discuss the challenges and benefits of technologies used for nuclear power plants and compliance assurance for the safe and secure transport of radioactive material. Additionally, a poster will be presented related to the regulatory programme for non-nuclear facilities, which assesses safety, security, and safeguards.

The UAE delegation will also participate in two side events: the first, titled “Nuclear Facilities in Times of Crisis,” will focus on improving the resilience of nuclear facilities amidst growing risks and climate change impacts. The second event, “Educating the Next Generation of Nuclear Security Professionals to Meet Future Global Demands,” will showcase the capacity-building needs of nuclear security at the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant and cooperation with educational institutions inside and outside the UAE.

Furthermore, the UAE delegation will hold several bilateral meetings with international stakeholders and other member states to discuss cooperation opportunities and exchange views on various nuclear security issues.

Additionally, FANR will chair a technical meeting titled “Regulations for the Future: Adapting and Implementing Regulatory Frameworks for Materials and Facilities,” where IAEA member states will present their efforts to prepare for the future in terms of regulations, addressing the growing needs of the nuclear sector to achieve energy security, mitigate climate change, and maintain the security of nuclear material.

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