Two female Jordanian broadcasters suffer temporary blindness caused by non-adherence to safety regulations

Jordanian anchors Lana Atiyat and Hana Abu Arjah

By Iqbal Tamimi


Two female broadcasters at Jordan
State television experienced temporary blindness on Saturday morning while
presenting the daily breakfast show ‘Youm Jadeed’.

Lana Atiyat and Hana Abu Arjah
suffered skin burns and cornea tissue laceration due to what has been described
as ‘a technical error’, when the lighting technician forgotten to place the
lighting protection filters while airing the show last Saturday.

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A source working at the state
television confirmed that both journalists experienced temporary blindness and
skin burns while airing the 3 hours live show on Saturday morning. Both were
transferred to the Eye Specialist Hospital to receive medical attention.

According to the medical report
issued by the hospital, the eyes tissue of Abu Arjah and Atiyat experienced full
depravity, and bleeding in the corneas as a result of being exposed to the severe
heat and lighting, which made them partially blind, and in need of several
weeks rest to recover their eyesight fully.

The source said “the lighting
technician was working three months ago at the public services of the
broadcasting organization, but has been transferred during the former director’s
management, and was appointed as a lighting technician, without acquiring the
minimum level of experience needed in this field”.

The source indicated that both
anchors expressed their discomfort caused by the intense heat and the light during
the show, but the technical staff supervising the lighting did not take their
complaint into consideration.

The Director General of the Corporation
“Ramadan Rawashdeh,” has called for an inquiry, while Atiyat and Abu
Arjah were offered an open leave until they are fully recovered.

The Phoenix Centre for Economic
and International Studies in cooperation with the German Friedrich Ebert
Stiftung (FES) office in Amman, found last year that the legislations governing
health and safety in the workplace in Jordan are in compliance with
international standards, but adherence to these laws does not meet aspirations,
according to their labour report released in August 2011, which found 3.2  per cent of work injuries occurred last year in
the transportation, storage and telecommunications spheres.

Social Security Corporation (SSC) figures on workplace
injuries indicate that the figure declined from 2.5 per 1,000 workers in 2006
to 2.0 per 1,000 in 2010, but labour ministry records show that nearly 20,000
work injuries took place in 2010, resulting in the death of 100 workers, while
1,500 suffered complete disability, costing the economy nearly JD80 million.

Phoenix Centre Director Ahmad
Awad told The Jordan Times that the difference in the figures released by the
ministry and the SSC are attributed to the fact that many employers still have
not registered their institutions with the SSC, while others refuse to report
work injuries in order to avoid accountability for not abiding by safety

The report underlined that
non-adherence to safety regulations in the workplace are mainly due to lack of
awareness among employers of the importance of providing their employees with
basic safety requirements.

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