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FROM LEFT: Tariq Al Ghamdi, President ASSE-MEC; Khalid Al Hetmi, Chairperson, ASSE-Qatar, and Dr Ken McLeod, President of CNA-Q, during the meeting at InterContinental Hotel yesterday.(Kammutty VP)
By Fazeena Saleem
DOHA: Workers in the oil and gas industry and construction sector are at the highest level of workplace risk in Qatar, says an expert.
However workplace risk is a common issue in all sectors but the nature of the problems could be different, said Khalid Al Hetmi Chairperson of the Qatar Section of American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), which held its first meeting yesterday.
Although occupational safety and health standards in Qatar are maintained well, there is a need for the professionals in the sector to come under one umbrella, Al Hetmi said.
“In oil and gas industry there is a risk of getting exposed to the chemicals, in construction site it’s about working on heights. But even if someone working at an office sits on a wrong position for a long time, that too is a risk,” he said.
“We have seen the country’s economy has grown fast and all industries have expanded. But there is a lack of communication as there is no common platform for the professionals.”
“The Qatar Section of the American Society of Safety Engineers will function as a platform for the professionals to work together and share their knowledge,” he added.
Founded in 1911, ASSE is the world’s oldest professional safety society. It promotes expertise, leadership and commitment of its members, provide them with professional development, advocacy and standards development. It also sets occupational safety, health and environmental community’s standards for excellence and ethics.
It opened its first chapter outside US 30 years ago in Saudi Arabia and held its first meeting in Qatar yesterday at the InterContinental Hotel. The meeting was sponsored by College of the North Atlantic–Qatar (CNA-Q) and the Middle East American Society of Safety Engineers Chapter (MEC) of the American Society of Safety Engineers. “This is the starting point. The inauguration will be on May 1,” said Al Hetmi.
Dr Ken McLeod, CNA-Q President, extended the college’s support to develop the Qatar section of the society.
“I am here to pledge the college’s support for the development and growth of the Qatar Section of the American Society of Safety Engineers. We will support the ASSE in every way we can and we certainly can offer the CNA-Q campus as a site for future meetings and other activities of the ASSE and HSE professionals,” he said.
ASSE members have direct access to over 34,000 HSE professionals through 151 chapters, eight regions, 40 sections and 65 student sections around the world. Members are also able to participate in ASSE’s 17 practice specialities, eight branches and four common interest groups.