Sunday, August 28, 2005

laborers : scum of elegant society ?

Some time ago, in a new newspaper "7 days" - a lady mentioned that all laborers in UAE should be given weekend off other than Friday. According to her, they cause too much of nuisance for people like herself who are not just subjected to ogles from these men but also cause nuisance with their foul sweaty smell and brusque behavior. I doubt if any of the laborers have even read her appeal but she got back from many readers what she deserved. An unequivocal, strong rebuke and condemnation.

Today, while at Gym on 15th floor, I saw from glass window upper torso of two laborers doing painting on exterior face of the opposite building. Curiosity made me go to window and see how they are managing it by standing at the edge of the wall. What I saw made me squirm; they were standing on two wooden planks of not more than 2ft each, positioned horizontally on scaffolding. Both were busy giving delicate touches to protruding wall, with tin of paint on one side and other hand occasionally reclining on scaffolding. The thoughts went back to the above newspaper article and I decided to put the following letter to the editor.


Dear Editor

I wish to point out the safety methods employed by/for workers who are involved in painting of high rise residential buildings – particularly in Al Nahda, Sharjah.

In one particular 16 story building in Al Nahda , I saw two workers doing the exterior painting , standing on 15th floor on wooden plank – that was merely positioned on horizontal bars of scaffolding. There was no protection whatsoever nature, He had paint brush in his hand and occasionally rest his second hand on scaffolding bar.

I do not know if this is a daredevil attitude on the part of workers or lackadaisical approach on the part of contractor. But I strongly believe that it should be mandatory for any worker who works on tall buildings should be tied by ropes, or cables attached to roof hooks.

UAE practices high level of safety standards, more so with motorists who are fined for not wearing seat belt . The same should be applicable for callous/ daredevil attitude of workers, contractors or builders.

Thanks and Regards

Unquote :

I do not know if this would make any difference, but I hope the laborers are accorded at least safe conditions as Dubai occupants relish the comforts of such high rise buildings provide while builders and developers enjoy the fortune.


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