Doha: Public Works Authority (Ashghal) has implemented a set of procedures and regulations to ensure the health and safety of its workers.
Ashghal said in a statement that it adheres to permitted working hours in accordance with the ministerial decree (17) of 2021 regarding the necessary precautions to protect workers against heat stress on outdoor work sites during summer. The decree prohibits work between 10:00 am and 3:30 pm starting from 1 June until 15 September of every year, concerning works performed directly under the sun or in outdoor sites with no ventilation.
“A safe work environment is one of the most important requirements imposed by Ashghal on its contractors, who are obligated to develop plans to deal with the risk of exposure to heat stress and to avoid its effects, while implementing a number of procedures at work sites. This includes providing several shaded rest areas within the project area, providing all workers with free drinking water at all times, as well as personal protection equipment. Ashghal also obliges contractors to appoint paramedics and supervisors for occupational health and safety on project sites to provide safety instructions and first aid for workers. This is in addition to implementing awareness campaigns for all workers on the dangers of heat stress between June and mid-September of each year,” it added.
Ashghal has also implemented its health screening programme for workers in order to detect chronic diseases that may increase the risk of heat stress. The screening is free of charge for workers. During 2020 and the first half of 2021, Ashghal performed health screenings of 67,719 workers, or 89.12 % of the entire workforce. Any worker identified with an abnormal result was referred to a hospital that is part of Qatar’s Ministry of Public Health network, where they were retested and given an individualised treatment plan, with medication if needed, and regular follow up.
“This proactive health programme is one of very few of its kind worldwide that is implemented in an infrastructure programme,” Ashghal said.