UAE National Etihad Rail Project Passes 10 Million Hour Milestone
The number of working man hours invested in the UAE’s Etihad Rail programme has passed the 10 million mark, 250 days after commencement.
Faris Saif Al Mazrouei, acting Chief Executive Officer of the network, hailed the milestone and praised the workers for tackling the challenging desert conditions of the Western Region, base of the project.
The $11 billion train line system is 1,200 kilometres in length and will serve both commercial freight and passengers.
The freight line will operate two trains carrying 22,000 metric tonnes of granulated sulphur each day and could be opened up by the end of the year.
After this, the 628 kilometre second phase will connect Mussafah Port to Khalifa Port and Jebel Ali Port, due to be operational by the beginning of 2017.
The project will also involve the construction of four stations to connect to the Dubai Metro system. Potential sites for the stations include Jebel Ali Port, Al Maktoum International Airport, Dubailand and Meydan.
As well as serving the UAE, the new network will act as an important connector for the wider region, joining UAE to Saudi Arabia through Ghweifat in the west and Oman through Al Ain in the east.
The programme is managed by a joint venture between Parsons and Aecom.
Construction workers urged to down tools for mental health
The construction industry is being encouraged to stop all work for one hour to focus on the importance of physical and mental health. The plea is part of the ‘Stop. Make a Change.’ (SMAC) campaign which is asking construction organisations across the country t spend an hour thinking about physical health conditions, such as respiratory health, work-related stress, as well as mental health conditions including, but not limited to, depression, anxiety, OCD, and bipolar disorder.
This year, the campaign, which takes place from 11 to 22 October, will focus on individual workers, placing particular emphasis on how they have been affected by the Coronavirus pandemic. In addition to encouraging workers to consider their health, safety, and wellbeing, they will also be asked how those areas can be improved
Andy Mitchell, co-chair of the Construction Leadership Council, said: “Our industry workforce is crucial to all of our future successes. We recognise the heroic efforts these workers have undertaken during the pandemic, and want to make sure that, as the industry hopefully emerges from COVID-19, we continue to look after everyone’s health, safety and wellbeing.”
Around 200,000 people took part in the campaign in 2019, which has been running since 2017. SMAC’s website also offers conversation starter kits to help encourage people to talk about their emotions and wellbeing, making it as natural as possible.
Suicide rates in the construction industry are increasing
A study by Glasgow Caledonian University found suicide rates among construction workers had risen to 29 per 100,000 in 2019 from 25 in 2015. Suicide rates among labourers increased by more than 50% from 48 per 100,000 in 2015 to 73 per 100,000 in 2019. However, the rate in non-construction-related industries has fallen, with just under five people per 100,000 taking their own lives in 2019 in comparison to 7 people in 2015.
If you work in the construction industry and need help, The Lighthouse charity provides free 24-hour, seven-days-a-week emotional and wellbeing support for those in the industry through its helpline available on 0345 605 1956 in the UK, or 1800 939 122 in the Republic of Ireland.
Lighthouse also has a free app where workers can access information that can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play.