Serious About Safety

The TELME team; photo by Muhsin

TELME participates in pandemic meeting, honors workers who demonstrate safe workplace practices.

Executives with Kawasaki, Japan-based Toshiba Elevator and Building Systems Corp. (TELC) led by Vice President Takeshi Sasanuma met via videoconference in September with top managers of subsidiary Toshiba Elevator Middle East (TELME) to discuss working efficiently during the COVID-19 pandemic. Leading the TELME delegation was Managing Director M.J. Mohamed Iqbal.

Worker health and safety was the priority topic of the conference, along with a mandate to strictly adhere to local government rules and Toshiba corporate guidelines. Discussion on this subject centered on making sure workers are provided with all safety equipment to protect against the virus, including facemasks, gloves and sanitizers. It was noted that masks and gloves should be replaced at proper intervals.

TELC officials stressed the importance of health and alertness as means of maintaining a proper working style and quality measures. Members of the TELME delegation urged employees to help educate unskilled workers, irrespective of affiliation, in the necessary precautions as part of TELME’s corporate social responsibility activities.

It was agreed that a surviving, healthy business is essential, and that government authorities are providing valuable support. Staff were advised to meet by videoconference, while face-to-face meetings, such as between client and contractor, should take place only when necessary, and all attendees should observe social distancing and use proper safety gear.

“Winning our clients’ constant trust is a challenge, but it is an important one [that] we, as a team, always try to meet. During this global pandemic situation, we also need to keep clients informed about their elevators, regularly connecting with them, which will boost their confidence. We are responsible for the elevators’ good functioning with no defects, aiming for no downtime, looking for better ways and always doing the right things.”

Safety Memorial Week

TELME held its annual Safety Memorial Week in August to stress the importance of jobsite safety and remember those who have fallen victim to workplace accidents. Safety Memorial Week is recognized at TELC and its subsidiaries.

A major part of this observance is to look back at accidents, review their causes and reinforce the importance of working safely. TELME conducted its Memorial Week activities at its head office in Dubai and project sites. All staff took a safety pledge.

Also during the observance, the Health and Safety Award, which is presented quarterly, was presented. The purpose of this award is to motivate employees and increase their commitment to workplace safety. During the ceremony, Iqbal said members of the workforce have a responsibility toward their families and, thus, should place prime importance on safety. He also said it is important to report near misses, which is a key tool for avoiding accidents. Safety personnel in attendance each gave a near-miss report. They were lauded for their contributions, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Iqbal Honored

Toshiba Elevator Middle East (TELME) Managing Director M.J. Mohamed Iqbal was honored by his executives and staff in August, in recognition of his inclusion in ELEVATOR WORLD’s June 2020 People Issue. His colleagues surprised him at TELME’s headquarters in Dubai with a framed copy of his feature from the issue.

Noting that his inclusion in the People Issue recognized his contributions to the vertical-transportation industry, those present lauded Iqbal’s rise from field engineer to leader of an international company. Several spoke of his working style and praised him for how he mentored them and nurtured their careers. During his remarks to the gathering, Iqbal spoke glowingly of his parents and all the people who helped him attain the success he has enjoyed.

Iqbal, who has more than 30 years in the industry, recounted the hundreds of elevators he helped install, test and commission and spoke of how much he enjoyed troubleshooting as a field technician. He recalled the period of the mid-1990s to 2004 as a “golden period” of high-rise construction in Dubai and noted some of the major projects on which he worked, including the Dubai Airport expansion ph1, the Emirates Twin Towers and the Burj al Arab. He credited strategic planning, a “winning instinct” and good tools and software as factors in these projects’ success. He advised young people to get as much hands-on experience as they can, and to read technical books and manuals, noting that EW is a good resource for learning. He added that, in the end, success comes down to dedication, hard work and staying abreast of what’s going on in the industry.

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