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UAE: Waste treatment plant workers hospitalised following gas leak

In 2017, 55 workers at a Bee'ah waste treatement plant in Sharjah "suffered from suffocation" due to a gas leak at their place of work. All of the workers were taken to hospital.

In the meantime, police opened an investigation into the incident.

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre includes this case in our Allegations Tracker of Abuse Against Migrant Workers in the Gulf. On publishing the results of our first analysis we invited Bee'ah to respond to the case. Their response is attached below.

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Company response
16 December 2019

Bee'ah response to 2017 health & safety violations

Bee’ah’s Waste Treatment Facility had a minor industrial incident involving an expired industrial gas cannister... This resulted in an employee from the Manual Waste Sorting team being exposed to leaked gas from the cannister, who experienced discomfort for a brief moment...

Bee’ah immediately informed Civil Defence of the incident and sent the 55 workers in the affected area to the nearest hospital. The employees were discharged within an hour by medical professionals and sent home to be monitored overnight...

Bee’ah has [since] upgraded the safety measures at the facility and enhanced pre-inspection screenings to ensure that such incidents are not repeated.

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27 November 2017

55 Sharjah workers treated after inhaling gas in workplace leak

Author: Afkar Abdullah, Khaleej Times (UAE)

About 55 workers of an environment company in Sharjah suffered from suffocation due to a gas leak at their workplace in Al Sajjah area...Initial investigations have revealed that the gas leak was caused during the treatment process of semi-liquid food waste at Bee'ah's waste treatment plant. The workers were rushed to different hospitals and 54 of them have been discharged. The police are investigating the source of the gas leak. Mohamed Abdullaziz, director of safety department at Bee'ah, said the incident happened when the workers were carrying out manual work at the plant. "Only one of the workers suffered from inhaling the gas, but all the workers on site were sent to the hospital as a precautionary measure." The workers were given the rest of the day off and sent to their accommodation to ensure safety.

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