Qatar has put comprehensive plans in place to reduce accidents, injuries and work-related diseases, Minister of Administrative Development, Labor and Social Affairs HE Yousuf bin Mohamed al Othman Fakhroo has said.
In a speech during the opening of the Occupational Safety and Health Conference, Fakhroo said the Qatari labour law includes provisions stipulating the necessity of complying with the requirements of occupational safety and health at the workplace and workers’ housing. The law also gave adequate powers to inspectors to ensure those regulations are met.
The conference was organised by the MADLSA in cooperation with the Ministry of Public Health and the International Labor Organization to celebrate the occupational safety and health month.
Fakhroo said the inspections are carried out due to the importance the government attaches to ensure that the regulations are met effectively, and to ensure that the necessary protective measures are taken to prevent occupational-related sickness or death.
He said the ministry is carrying out a comprehensive plan during the summer to ensure compliance with the implementation of preventive measures and protection against heat stress.
The measures include raising awareness, visits to work sites and houses, in addition to receiving complaints, identifying violations and taking necessary legal measures against them.
He said the ministry, in cooperation with the ILO and designated state authorities, has prepared a guide on protection from heat stress. He said the guide has a number of tips and requirements to protect workers from the heat-related risks and to ensure that they carry out their work at the required productivity level in all areas- be it industrial, construction and agricultural.
The minister said that celebrating World Day for Safety and Health at Work aims to shed light on ways to maintain safety and health at work. It highlights Qatar’s commitment to celebrating the day along with the international community due to its belief in the importance of ensuring work safely.
The minister said the launch of the World Day for Safety and Health at Work during April saw the organisation of a series of activities and events such as workshops that explained the work of inspectors and the regulatory process undertaken to ensure the implementation of the labour law.
He appreciated the role played by local and international organisations in ensuring the promotion of occupational safety and health.
In the same context, director of the Public Health Department at the Ministry of Public Health HE Sheikh Dr Mohamed bin Hamad al Thani, said Qatar works in a proactive and effective way to avoid injuries and deaths in the workplace, pointing out that the death rate of workers in the country is 1.6 per 100,000 workers, less than half the proportion in the US.
He pointed out that occupational health is one of the areas of public health strategy (2017-2022), which aims to reduce the number of injuries and deaths in the workplace to less than one per 100,000 people, in cooperation with the concerned authorities in the state to improve working conditions and the safety of everyone.
He said the health system in Qatar is currently ranked fifth in the list of the best health systems in the world, and ranked first in the Middle East, according to Legatum Institute 2019.
For his part, Chairman of Qatar Chamber HE Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim bin Mohammed al Thani said the growth and economic expansion witnessed by Qatar since the past two decades, necessitated the use of large numbers of employment.
He said Qatar Chamber is keen to encourage employers and private sector companies to provide the necessary training to workers, raise awareness and abide by the occupational safety and health requirements of the worker and the employer to achieve productive efficiency.
The Director of International Standards Department at the ILO commended the role of MADLSA and its constant cooperation with the Organization and the relevant authorities locally and internationally to promote occupational safety and health.
Vice President of the International Federation of Building and Wood Workers (BWI) praised the efforts of MADLSA to improve the working environment and the safety and health of workers.
The BWI Vice President said Qatar has made significant progress in improving working conditions, especially in the World Cup projects and in housing, providing training courses, conducting inspection campaigns to achieve safety of workers and finding mechanisms to help improve their safety.