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Construction accidents on the rise in Qatar

by CW Staff on Feb 11, 2013

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Injuries caused by falling from heights are on the rise in Qatar due to a failure by employers to provide required safety measures at work sites, says an expert at the Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC).

The Trauma Care Centre at the HMC has seen a significant increase in the number of people treated for injuries caused by falls from heights, Dr Ahmed Zarour (pictured), Director of the Trauma Intensive Care Unit at HMC, said yesterday.

The majority of such cases could be prevented with proper safety measures, he added.

“Injuries due to falling from heights at work sites have reached more than 1,000 a year, which was at an average 600 in 2008,” Dr Zarour told The Peninsula daily in Doha.

Falling from heights is the second major cause of serious injuries in Qatar, with traffic accidents being the first.

“They [fall from heights] are moreover equal or second to injuries caused by road accidents,” said Dr Zarour.

There are several measures to prevent falls from heights, including taking adequate safety precautions, he said. “Companies should take more interest in the safety of their workers.

“The authorities must be strict on rules and regulations to force these companies to take all safety measures and make it obligatory at all construction sites,” he added.

Mortality rates amng those who suffer from falls is significant, especially when they sustain severe injuries. Traumatic brain injuries can be severe enough to cause death or total incapacity.

People falling from heights are also at the risk of incurring severe disabilities, such as neurological disabilities, inability to work or paralysis.

“Ten percent of the victims become disabled. It has a major impact on the community, families and the economy in terms of their rehabilitation and lose of working days,” said Dr Zarour.

The Trauma Care Centre at Hamad General Hospital receives more than 5,000 patients a year on an average, including 300 children.