ADAFSA monitors agri-food establishments' compliance with Abu Dhabi safety system

ABU DHABI, 4th July, 2023 (WAM) – The Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA) is committed to ensuring the safety and health of workers in food and agricultural establishments in the emirate. It supervises the performance of these establishments and monitors their compliance with Abu Dhabi Occupational Safety and Health System Framework (OSHAD SF). The OSHAD SF aims to provide a healthy and safe work environment for workers, establish a culture of occupational safety and health, and ensure the welfare of workers.

In 2022, ADAFSA successfully identified, designated, and registered 10,753 establishments in the agri-food sector out of approximately 20,253 establishments. This comprehensive process enables the authority to effectively monitor the implementation of the OSHAD SF. These establishments were categorised according to their risk level, with 53 identified as high risk, 2,371 as medium risk and 8,329 as low risk.

The identification, naming, and registration of food and agricultural establishments considers factors such as the number of employees and customers, outlet location and size, nature of operations, and handling of materials and chemical waste. This thorough assessment determines the specific requirements for compliance with occupational safety and health standards based on the degree of risk.

ADAFSA's dedicated teams actively participate in mock emergency evacuation exercises, ensuring the readiness and effectiveness of emergency management plans and equipment. Recently, a mock evacuation exercise took place at Carrefour stores in the Marina Shopping Centre, allowing ADAFSA to evaluate the facility's preparedness to handle unforeseen events and ensure the safe evacuation of employees and community members in case of emergencies.

Furthermore, specialised teams within the Authority review and approve safety management systems developed by food and agricultural establishments. They conduct inspections for low- and medium-risk establishments, perform periodic audits for high-risk establishments, monitor internal investigations into occupational safety and health incidents, and submit performance reports to the Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre. Additionally, ADAFSA organises awareness programmes highlighting the significance of implementing OSHAD SF and the benefits it brings to establishments and their employees.

Emphasising its commitment to best practice, ADAFSA ensures the application of local and international occupational health and safety standards in all its facilities. By providing a safe working environment for employees and stakeholders, the Authority ensures business continuity and maintains the quality of services provided to the community. Mock evacuation drills are regularly carried out at all ADAFSA facilities to ensure readiness to respond to emergencies and to prioritise the safety of employees and customers.

OSHAD's overarching framework aims to improve occupational safety and health standards, reduce occupational injuries, illnesses and accidents, mitigate institutional risks and losses, establish sound occupational health systems and improve institutional efficiency, while enhancing the overall well-being of workers in various sectors.