Construction site accidents on the rise

February 11, 2013 - 4:56:11 am

By Fazeena Saleem 

DOHA: Injuries caused by falling from heights are on the rise in Qatar due to a failure of 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 fall from heights,  Dr Ahmed Zarour (pictured), Director, 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 per year which was at an average 600 in 2008,” Dr Zarour told The Peninsula. 

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

“They (fall from heights) are more over 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 rate is significant in this group of patients, 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 having severe disabilities. These could be 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.

Based at Hamad General Hospital, the Trauma Care Centre receives more than 5,000 patients every year on an average, including 300 children. Nearly half of them are admitted to the hospital for treatment. 

With its upgraded medical facilities, the duration of stay in the hospital for trauma patients in general has decreased from an average of 12 days in 2007 to 5.5 in 2012. 

The Peninsula