Dubai Expo says it recorded 3 construction fatalities, lower accident rate than UK

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A Dubai Expo 2020 logo is pictured during the opening ceremony in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on September 30, 2021. REUTERS / Ahmed Jadallah

DUBAI, October 2 (Reuters) – Expo 2020 Dubai, the world’s largest fair which opened this week, said on Saturday that three workers had died and 72 were seriously injured during the six years of construction, defending its accident rate less than half that of construction. work in Brittany.

Megaprojects in the Gulf region such as the Expo and hosting the FIFA World Cup in Qatar in 2022 have come under international scrutiny with rights groups criticizing the conditions of migrant workers at low wages.

Dubai, the region’s tourism, trade and business hub, hopes to boost its economy by attracting 25 million visits to the World’s Fair, which has been delayed for a year by the pandemic.

The Expo statement was the first to detail work-related fatalities and serious injuries – categorized as requiring three or more days of sick leave – among 200,000 workers in more than 247 million working hours. He clarified how and where the three workers died.

He said the accident frequency rate, a calculation used to measure incidents over a set period of time, was 0.03, compared with 0.07 in the construction industry in Britain, as recorded by the UK Health and Safety Executive.

“We are committed to the high standards we set for ourselves and our contractors and remain firmly focused on collaborating to continuously improve,” said Expo 2020.

Low-paid foreign workers are the backbone of the Arab Gulf economies, taking jobs in construction, services and transport. Expo 2020 Dubai, the first global exhibition to be held in the Middle East, was built from scratch over 4.3 km2 of desert and cost around $ 6.8 billion. Read more .

Last month, the European Parliament urged member states not to participate in the Expo, citing “inhumane practices” against foreign workers and “systematic persecution” of human rights defenders. The UAE rejected the non-binding resolution as “factually incorrect”. Read more

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, speaking at a press conference at the Expo, said on Saturday that France, which maintains a naval base in the Emirates, had not supported the resolution.

“Our relationship with the United Arab Emirates is strategic. It is very close,” he said, adding that if France had any concerns, it would raise them in private.

Editing by Peter Graff

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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