Following days of sandstorms in the UAE, experts have shared their top tips for working safely in tough weather conditions.

Dusty weather and sandstorms created poor visibility in parts of the UAE this week, and also caused travel havoc.

The tough weather conditions also created a challenge for those working on building sites. Sandstorms and high wind speeds can be a problem if the proper health and safety measures are not in place. 

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Gareth Main, health, safety, and environment (HSE) manager at Al Naboodah Group Enterprises told Construction Week that working from heights, driving, and lifting activities should be stopped during a sandstorm.

“Due to the reduced visibility and high winds during sandstorms, working at height is extremely dangerous as there is an increased risk of falling through voids and openings that are not clearly visible.

"As such, all work at height activities are suspended [on our site] until the storm has cleared.”

When wind speeds are high and or visibility is poor, driving and lifting work should be suspended too.

“Operators and drivers are advised to stop their vehicles, plant in a safe area , and stay in the cabin until the storm has passed,” he added.

When sandstorms are less severe and it is safe to resume work, staff are issued with personal protective equipment such as safety glasses and anti-dust masks to prevent inhalation of potentially harmful particles.

“If the sandstorm intensifies, making working outside dangerous, all works are suspended until the storm has passed,” Main said.

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