The new policy aims to reduce occupational safety hazards for workers
A new Qatar-wide health and safety policy was issued to protect workers, the Ministry of Public Health [MoPH] and Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs [MADLSA] said.
Based on key guiding principles such as prevention, continuous assessment of occupational hazards and risk, development of the nationwide health and safety culture and public awareness, the Operational Safety and Health (OSH) policy covers all employers and workers across all sectors of the economy engaged in all forms of employment relationships.
The policy aims to promote the protection of workers’ health and prevent accidents, injuries and illnesses arising out of, linked with, or occurring due to work, by eliminating or minimising the causes of hazards inherent in the working environment.
It also aims to enhance the provision of quality occupational health and safety services at a national level.
The comprehensive plan lays out responsibilities for companies and relevant authorities to elaborate, review and revise the labour legislation and regulations on OSH, raise awareness, promote health and safety and conduct investigations to identify the causes of accidents and diseases in the workplace.
Since winning the bid to host the FIFA World Cup 2022, Qatar has come under global scrutiny due to work-related deaths at stadium construction sites.
The OSH, which follows recommendations based on international standards, addresses and ticks off these global concerns.
In August, Qatar’s ministry of labour announced major new changes in the country’s labour market, allowing migrant workers to change jobs without their employer’s permission and introducing a non-discriminatory minimum wage.
The move, which is set to start a new era for the Qatari labour market, was praised by many international organisations, including the International Labour Organisation [ILLO].
“By introducing these significant changes, Qatar has delivered on a commitment. One that will give workers more freedom and protection, and employers more choice,” said Guy Ryder, the ILO Director-General. “We are witnessing what can be achieved when governments, workers and employers work together with the ILO to promote decent work for all.”
The announcement is part of Qatar’s 2030 National Vision of protecting workers and ensuring their safety, a step described by Yousuf Mohamed Al Othman Fakhroo, Minister of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs, as a major milestone for the country.