Qatar issues a National Policy on Occupational Safety and Health to promote the right to safe and healthy workplaces

Article | 07 October 2020
Enhancing workers’ safety and health is a shared priority of the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs (MADLSA) and the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH). Through a dedicated taskforce of experts and with the support of the International Labour Organization (ILO), the two ministries have drafted and published on 4 October 2020 a National Policy on OSH.  The aim of the Policy is to prevent accidents, injuries and diseases arising out of, linked with or occurring in the course of work. The importance of collective efforts on safety and health at work has been further underscored by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Over the past year, consultations with employers’ and workers’ representatives took place to discuss current practices, challenges and opportunities concerning OSH in Qatar. During the consultations, participants discussed the five main areas of action identified in the Policy: 1) coordination, cooperation and consultation mechanisms; 2) data collection and analysis; 3) legislation; 4) provision of health services; and 5) education and training.

To implement this Policy, activities are already underway to act upon the five areas of action. For example, the Return to Work advisory prepared by MADLSA built on guidance produced by MOPH, and was communicated to workers and employers in different sectors. In addition, in collaboration with Hamad Medical Corporation, MADLSA is enhancing data collection on occupational accidents and improving the system for notification of accidents by employers. Moreover, in October 2020, a group of labour inspectors are scheduled to receive training on the investigation of occupational accidents.

The Policy will be reviewed periodically to evaluate results, identify major problems and establish priorities for action. The implementation and review process will continue to benefit from inclusive and frequent dialogue between the government, employers’ and workers’ representatives.