Global HSE best-practice combined with active employee engagement key to du becoming UAE ‘employer of choice’
UAE telecom giant to reveal sustainable employee wellness policy at 2nd BOHS Worker Health Protection Conference
Global Health, Safety, and Environment (HSE) best-practice combined with active employee engagement is key to a sustainable HSE strategy that can elevate Middle East organisations into an ‘employer of choice’, an occupational health expert has said.
Dr. Mansoor Anwar Habib, director of Medical and Occupational Health Services at du, said having an all-encompassing HSE policy allows the UAE telecom giant to cultivate a powerful culture of well-being within the organisation that has a positive impact on both employee moral as well as the society in which it operates.
“Sustainability is vital to the success of an organisation as a whole, and having a solid and sustainable occupational health policy in place allows us, as a business, to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our employees – who really are the backbone of our organisation – and our customers, who are at the heart of everything we do,” said Habib.
“While we continuously encompass global best practices when it comes to our HSE policy, we have also cultivated a powerful culture of well-being, one that values employee safety, a work-life balance and engagement. As a result, we have emerged as an employer of choice here in the UAE.”
Dr. Habib is one of more than 26 international and regional occupational health and hygiene experts that will be speaking at the 2nd BOHS Worker Health Protection Conference, taking place next week from 25-29 October at Le Royal Meridien Abu Dhabi.
Dr. Habib, along with colleague Ms. Daxita Rajcoomar, Health, Safety and Environmental Compliance Senior Manager at du, will deliver a case study presentation about du’s HSE and Employee Wellness policy, drawing on various examples, from its ‘Every Step Counts’ initiative to other factors including LEED certification of its buildings, and implementing ergonomic principles to ensure worker comfort.
“We launched our Every Step Counts initiative in 2013 with the aim of inspiring both our employees and UAE citizens to take responsibility for their own health and wellbeing,” added Habib. “Under the Every Step Counts umbrella we introduced a number of health initiatives that had a positive impact on UAE residents and our employees.
“Earlier this year, we launched the du Wellness Hub, an interactive online health platform guaranteeing great value on services ranging from gym memberships, sports, family activities, holidays, health food and much more.”
In maintaining a sustainable HSE and employee and wellness strategy, du has reached a number of milestones; in April 2015, it became the world’s first company to be awarded the prestigious UL (Underwriters Laboratories) Building Indoor Air Quality Certificate, while its Mirdif City Centre store in Dubai was lauded as the UAE’s greenest telecom retail outlet.
It also launched the Middle East’s first bilingual wellness app – a fitness companion that tracks progress, measures daily activities, and monitors calorie intake, while also making life healthy, fun and challenging by allowing users to compete with friends and family.
“By having such an all-encompassing policy in place that transcends HR practices to include the population at large, we are not only creating an immersive wellness environment in our own organisation, but also influencing society in positive ways,” said Habib.
“Middle East organisations should adopt similar strategies into their business models in order to enhance employee engagement and retention, as well as encourage a healthier workforce. This will impact positively on their overall sustainability.”
Organised by BOHS (The Chartered Society for Worker Health Protection), and Messe Frankfurt Middle East, the 2nd BOHS Worker Health Protection Conference will highlight HSE best-practice and key issues that affect occupational health, hygiene and wellbeing, while also outlining the latest regulations governing regional workplace health and safety.
The five-day summit, which is expected to draw more than 100 regional and international delegates, includes an extensive two-day conference, book-ended by three days’ of professional development courses to enhance occupational health and hygiene programmes.
“With the Middle East currently witnessing a surge in real estate and commercial infrastructure development, as well as large-scale investments in industrial, manufacturing and logistical facilities, workforce health and safety gains immense significance,” said Ahmed Pauwels, CEO of Messe Frankfurt Middle East.
“The 2nd BOHS Worker Health Protection Conference provides regional occupation health and hygiene professionals, managers, and industry leaders a great opportunity to interact with leading international experts and gain valuable insights into global best practices and the latest developments in the field.”
The inaugural address at the 2nd BOHS Worker Health Protection Conference will be delivered by His Excellency Dr. Hussain Abdul Rahman Al Rand, Assistant Undersecretary for Health Centre and Clinics at the UAE Ministry of Health.
Other headline speakers include Dr. Ali Salem Alili, Director of the Occupational Health and Safety Department at the UAE Ministry of Labour; Dr. Ola Mira, Head of Occupational Health and Safety at the UAE Ministry of Health; Dr. Muhammad Wasif Alam, Director of Public Health and Safety at the Dubai Health Authority; and Dr. Derrick Cameron, Regional Health Manager for Middle East and Africa at Shell.