Engagement and education key to safety

Head of HSE at QPM explains what can be done to improve matters

Alan Crawford, Head of HSE at Qatar Project Management (QPM).
Alan Crawford, Head of HSE at Qatar Project Management (QPM).

Workforce engagement and education are fundamental to making safety a priority, according to Alan Crawford, Head of HSE at Qatar Project Management (QPM).

However, education is a very broad term with a huge number of parameters and this has to be tailored to these priorities to suit the workforce in every country or situation.

Crawford said “At our Barwa Al Khor Shell Housing site, where we have three thousand people working across all functions, the simplest and most effective solution we identified was providing the entire workforce with a series of 20 minute toolbox presentations. During the presentations, we addressed five primary issues regarding workforce safety including working at heights together with scaffold issues; site welfare facilities; site housekeeping; enforcement of minimum Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) requirements for the site; and waste management.

Crawford said: “We were quite aware of language barriers as a lot of the workers spoke little to no English, with a scattering of other languages. Our approach was to limit the English presentation to the end of the session with the least percentage of time, while the person who presented in Hindi had the largest proportion of presentation time.

“What this achieved was more than just getting our messages across to three thousand people. This was our third such toolbox training session and what these presentations helped us achieve is getting these workers to buy in to us. When they buy into what we represent they know that we are serious about their safety. It also gave the workers the opportunity to give us their feedback and tell us about their concerns and issues that they have noticed in implementation.”

QPM recently concluded 5mn man-hours without a lost time incident at the Barwa Al Khor Shell Housing site; this is a significant achievement for the HSE department at QPM. In addition to the workers, QPM has built a culture of safety that can be traced to every team member.

Crawford added: “It is very common among health and safety people to tell people what they shouldn’t do. That isn’t how we approach HSE at QPM. We focus on making health and safety a part of everyday work processes and building dialogue amongst all stakeholders by rewarding people for making positive changes, rather than saying you can’t do this or that. Negativity is just not constructive in this business.

“Often we are asked how realistic a zero accident plan is and our response is that we are not planning zero accidents, but ensuring there are adequate safeguards in place to prevent most of them. Accidents happen in any workplace but if you can work towards realistic milestones such as a million man-hours of no lost time incidents, and then two million and so on, we are on the right path.

QPM recently concluded 5 million man-hours without a lost time incident at the Barwa Al Khor Shell Housing site; this is a significant achievement for the HSE department at QPM. In addition to the workers, QPM has built a culture of safety that can be traced to every team member.
 

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