CW Awards: Qatar Foundation scoops H&S title

Workers Welfare Charter impresses judges

NEWS, Business, Construction Week Awards 2013, Health & Safety Initiative of the Year, Qatar Foundation

The Qatar Foundation's Workers Welfare Charter was named Health and Safety Initiative of the Year at last night's Construction Week Awards.

The initiative was designed to demonstrate a commitment to improving the quality of life for workers across the organisation's diverse portfolio of projects.

The purpose of the charter was to set forth minimum mandatory requirements for quality of life with respect to recruitment and employment, living conditions, transportation, working conditions and the general treatment of workers engaged in construction and other projects from the organisation.

The judges saw the initiative as a holistic effort at monitoring and auditing worker welfare across a multitude of contractors and sub-contractors.

“The Workers Welfare Charter is really about teamwork,” said Qatar Foundation’s head of architecture Ameena Ahmadi, who collected the award. “By teamwork, I mean to say that we adopted a multidisciplinary approach. When we speak about the lives of workers, we are referring to a range of issues. For example, it isn't enough only to improve accommodation; workers could be living in a mansion, yet still have miserable lives if they become indebted.

“It is very important for us to ensure that this holistic approach is present during implementation, as well as in the standards themselves,” added Ahmadi.

Highly commended in this category for engaging with staff across a wide range of health issues, was Al Futtaim Carillion. The company was praised by the judges for looking at HSE as a complete company culture, not just numbers on paper.

Dennis Balough, regional health and safety manager at Al Futtaim Carillion, said: "We are very pleased to be highly commended for the award."

Dr Anila Rashid, company doctor at Al Futtain Carillion, added: "Our project was Halt for Health. In this whole week we do extensive health surveys at all the sites and camps, not only in Dubai, but in the rest of MENA. In this instance they're all high risk categories; and then we follow them, trace them, treat them and we refer them for district care if required." 

Ali Al Ali director of enterprise sales from DU, the presenting sponsor of the event, made the award presentation.

Back to Basics from ALEC, Strive to Safe Drive from Bahwan Engineering Company and Low Level Access from Rapid Access were initiatives that also made the final shortlist in the category.

The Construction Week Awards are an annual series of events that recognise and reward the best the GCC construction industry has to offer. This year's event was supported by presenting sponsor DU, and platinum sponsors SAP and FAMCO.

The next edition takes place in March, in Oman, and is open for entries now. 

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