Globally one of the foremost names in building materials, CEMEX has a presence in more than 50 countries, and with three key locations in the UAE – Jebel Ali, Al Quoz and Abu Dhabi – the company recently began an important new initiative: one that admirably reflects its well-known commitment to safety.
Its decision? To get its entire 500-strong workforce – from staff in the back office and production line to its senior directors – vaccinated against Covid-19.
The move – driven by a new CEO – was part of the company’s holistic stance against the pandemic, with office employees already having the flexibility to work from home and a rota system in place to restrict numbers on the premises each day. There is also very precise physical distancing across the company’s extensive production facilities.
One of the key benefits of the vaccination programme is that it takes proactive measures against the dangers of positive-testing on-site, with the serious implications this can have for productivity and plant manning. So – starting on Thursday 11th – the new initiative saw staff being bussed to the Dubai Trade Centre, with two appointments per day, at 1pm and 7pm. Vaccinations then continued on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday (with sessions including family vaccination). Currently, more than 400 staff have received the Sinopharm vaccine.
CEMEX is in fact carrying out staff vaccinations at its plants worldwide, but the rate at which this is possible of course depends on the level of preparedness in each nation – with the UAE being at the forefront of vaccine roll-out.
As each staff member was vaccinated, CEMEX also provided a virus safety pack, including face mask, sanitizer, Vitamin C capsules and advice on safety protocol (and note that the CEMEX website also gives full safety details for every staff role and style of working environment).
Rafael Villalona, CEMEX UAE Country Director, commented: “At CEMEX nothing is more important than the health and safety of our employees, customers, and the general public. Since the start of the pandemic our rapid response teams have been working vigilantly to ensure the safety of our people and their families. We have developed more than 50 COVID-19 safety protocols covering every detail like remote working, critical areas in facilities, interacting with customers, travel, document handling, and others. Our employees were given a set of actions and proactive behaviour guidelines called “Behaviours That Save Lives”, to stay safe and healthy throughout their day.
“Once the vaccine was developed and available, we decided to actively participate in putting an end to this pandemic by availing it to our people and their families. Our top priority of ensuring the safety of our people was best demonstrated through these robust procedures, actions, and by providing support to everyone.
“Lastly, I would like to thank UAE leaders and the government for setting a great example and offering the vaccine to the whole population. We at CEMEX are totally supportive of the government’s mission to boost immunity within the population, end the spread of the virus, and return to ‘Normalcy’.”
Well-known locally for cement and concrete production, CEMEX is a diverse building materials specialist, listed as a Forbes 100 Best Company. Headquartered in Mexico, CEMEX has a presence in the USA, Europe and throughout EMEA. The company’s projects in the UAE include iconic structures such as The Dubai Mall and Emirates Palace.