We have experienced a sudden frenzy over safety in Lebanon in the last couple weeks triggered by the sad building collapse in Achrafieh. This aberration initiated again the endemic worries over the infamous Jal Al-Dib flyover bridge, the extensive media coverage, and the activism of some local authorities and parliamentary committees who originated the discussions on how they can improve the general public safety.
What you see below is screen shot from the prime news programme on MTV – the Lebanese TV channel – on Friday 8th July 2011. It was shown as part of a reportage on the illegal advertising billboards on the streets in Lebanon. The MTV reporter was worried that these illegal chaotic billboards visually pollute the scene, and could be at risk of falling as result of strong winds (as previously happened).
MTV reporter was spot on with these worries, but what worried me of his worries was that he missed a main ‘health and safety’ concern: the men climbing, walking and working from heights without any proper protection. There wasn’t any barrier to protect them, and they were not connected with any ropes. Moreover, they didn’t wear any personal protective equipment (known as PPE).