The Public Works Authority (Ashghal) has announced that its Roads Projects Department (RPD) has won two International Safety Awards with a merit from the British Safety Council in recognition of "its commitment to keeping its workers and workplaces healthy and safe during the 2019 calendar year".
The two projects that have won the awards include Roads and Infrastructure projects in the Doha Industrial Area (Package 3) and West Muaither (Package 3), Ashghal has said in a statement.
Saoud al-Tamimi, RPD manager, said the two awards reflect Ashghal’s commitment to health and safety in its construction projects and the leading position that the authority plays in the Qatari construction industry in terms of spreading awareness and implementing best health and safety practices.
“This is of great importance to the Road Projects Department, especially that we rely on local contractors. Co-operating with them to raise the health and safety performance at our worksites means better performance elsewhere in Qatar,” al-Tamimi said.
He added that the "International Safety Awards are part of the many awards won by Ashghal over the past few years and this is not a coincidence". These come as a result of well-implemented strategies set by Ashghal’s leadership and nurtured at the Affairs level, he stressed.
For the last 62 years, the International Safety Awards scheme has been recognising organisations from around the world. These organisations have been able to satisfy the independent judges by preventing workplace injuries and work-related ill health.
Mike Robinson, chief executive, British Safety Council, congratulated Ashghal and said the awards come in recognition of its commitment and efforts to keep its workforce free of injury and ill health.
“The vision of the British Safety Council is that no one should be injured or made ill through work – anywhere in the world. Realising it requires more than legislation, people and organisations committed to health and safety make it a reality and inspire others to create workplaces that are a key force for good,” he noted.
* Roads and Infrastructure project in Doha Industrial Area (Package 3)
The project commenced in December 2017 and achieved 5.4mn Lost Time Injury (LTI)-free man-hours in 2019. The project has 1,500 workers hired by its main contractor, Qatar Building Company, and subcontractors. The project covers a network of urban roadways extending to 33km approximately.
The main works include upgrading several arterial and collector roads, diversion and protection of existing electricity and water networks in addition to construction of a new combined stormwater and groundwater drainage network and a foul sewerage network. The works also include the installation of street lighting, traffic signals and directional signage.
* Roads and Infrastructure Project in West Muaither (Package 3)
The project commenced in January 2019 and achieved 1.2mn LTI-free man-hours in 2019, with 770 people employed by the main contractor, Boom Construction. The project is aimed at providing full infrastructure, including roads, street lighting, landscaping and irrigation, surface water drainage, foul sewer, treated sewage effluent system and utilities, including telecommunication networks, potable water and electricity networks.
* Effective H&S Management System
The awarded projects are implemented through an effective H&S Management System in accordance with the requirements established by the department. The core elements of this system included leadership commitment and demonstration, proactive risk identification and management process, training and competency enhancement programme and consultation and participation of all levels of personnel in H&S matters, in addition to setting up H&S objectives and monitoring their achievement for ensuring continual improvement, sub-contractor appointment and control and regular management reviews.
RPD projects in 2019 conducted 1,098 focused worker welfare inspections, obtained licences from the Ministry of Public Health for 11 worker clinics and managed to get 90% of the workforce (around 21,600 workers) hired by its contractors medically screened for chronic diseases.
"This keen attention to health and safety helped RPD achieve an accident frequency rate of 0.08 for the 73.86mn man-hours worked in 2019, 43mn of which are LTI-free man-hours. This reflects both the magnitude of works handled by the department and its commitment to health and safety and workers’ welfare at its project sites," Ashghal said.