Qatar working on clarifying HSE regulations

MEP Conference hears that government in consultation process

NEWS, Business

The Qatari government is working to clarify and define the country's health and safety (HSE) regulations, the MEP Qatar Conference in Doha has heard.

During a panel discussion on “The importance of HSE in MEP Engineering” it was also revealed that the Qatari Ministry of Labour is in consultation with other governments to guide the development of the laws.

Responding to a question from the floor about the potential benefits of Qatar developing statutory health and safety regulations, head of corporate QHSE at Qatar Project Management, Alan Crawford, said that Qatar's Ministry of Labour already has this in mind.

“We've had some discussions with the Ministry of Labour and they have acknowledged [all the concerns] we have raised here,” he said. “They are in the same place. They have been overcome by the speed of things. I know they are talking to government regulators from other parts of the world to learn lessons. There are an awful lot of things that the Ministry of Labour are trying to do and a lot of them are forward-thinking.”

Crawford added that, until statutory regulations come into force in Qatar, it was the responsibility of those in the construction industry to ensure that onsite health and safety adhered to the highest international standards.

“I think the solution is, we've got an awful lot of international renowned contractors in this room, and it is incumbent upon us to take the lead and do what's right ourselves. The ministry will no doubt catch up – and they are trying – but in fairness we're probably a little bit ahead of them.”

Health and safety standards in the Qatari construction industry have received widespread criticism in the last year, with international media focussing on the number of fatalities the country's construction industry has experienced.

Crawford was participating in the panel discussion beside head of safety at Jacobs Paul Lindsay, with Bill Jolly, director of MEP and sustainability moderating the event.

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