As part of the ongoing co-operation between the Public Works Authority (Ashghal) and General Directorate of Civil Defence (GDCD), Ashghal has activated its strategic partnership, known as ‘Hand in Hand to Prevent Risks’.
This is done by making civil defence safety requirements mandatory on all the authority’s buildings. A decision in this regard was taken at a meeting attended Ashghal's Technical Support Affairs director Mohamed Ali Darwish, General Services Affairs director Mishal Sultan al-Hitmi and a number of other officials.
The GDCD was represented Assistant Director-General Brigadier Hamad Othman al-Duhaimi and heads of many sections.
The partnership between the two bodies aims to follow and implement safety requirements, starting from the design stage to the implementation stage under the slogan “Safety First” which is adopted by Ashghal in its buildings and at its project sites.
Al-Hitmi emphasised the authority's keenness to develop a safety management system that aims to provide a safe working environment for its employees through the development of general safety policies and implementation of evacuation drills, in addition to the necessary training provided for employees.
“In co-operation with the GDCD, 160 employees received theoretical and practical training on the principles of fire extinction and emergency evacuation. Some of them received accredited certifications as international trainers,” he added.
General Services Department manager Yousuf Ahmed al-Obaidli said the co-operation between Ashghal and GDCD will help hold continuous training sessions in firefighting and emergency training for Ashghal employees, including the evacuation drills that are repeated twice a year.
This is in addition to applying the awareness programme “Safe Pathway”, which aims to train security and safety specialists in Ashghal through the media and preventive education section at the GDCD.
Ashghal's General Services Department manager Abdullah al-Khayareen lauded the efforts of the GDCD in terms of enhancing security and safety in Qatar in general, through its initiatives in raising and promoting public awareness whether through print and visual media or the various social media platforms.
“Ashghal pays high attention to providing security and safety requirements in all of its buildings and is always keen to preserve the emergency and firefighting systems and equipment in a clean and accessible work environment. Through frequent exercises, we have enhanced awareness among Ashghal staff with regard to evacuation plans. This was reflected in speedy evacuations as part of the training process," he added.
Brigadier al-Duhaimi stressed the importance of co-operating with Ashghal and other institutions. GDCD Prevention Department inspection officer First Lieutenant and senior engineer Abdullah Issa al-Kaabi explained the security and safety requirements of each establishment according to its nature, the role of the GDCD in inspection processes, and the role of the Engineering Drawings Section in revising the requirements needed to ensure peoples’ safety.
He also pointed out that the Media and Preventive Education Section organises several training courses to explain how to carry out evacuations and to train Ashghal’s staff to implement evacuations, in co-ordination with the GDCD.