National Occupational Health Committee to be set up soon

1st January 2010 DOHA: Occupational health in Qatar would get a major boost with establishment of the National Occupational Health Committee, which is expected to stup soon, an official at the Supreme Council of Health (SCH) has said.

The proposed committee, with representatives from various government departments and other organisations concerned, will supervise and co-ordinate the various programmes and activities taking place in the country related to occupational health, Dr Wasif M Alam, consultant at the Occupational Health section at SCH told The Peninsula.

He said the offices of the occupational health section will soon be shifted to the Industrial area, as part of efforts that are underway to enhance the scope of its activities.

“We have been dealing with a large number of expatriate workers on a daily basis. Having our offices in the Industrial Area will help us interact with workers as well as companies more closely and effectively,” said Alam.

Addressing a workshop on occupational health at the SCH premises recently, Dr Mohammed Al Thani, director of the Department of Public Health had also talked about plans to expand the section in terms of manpower, space and resources.

The section conducts regular inspections at labour accommodations and worksites to ensure that they comply with the health and safety standards and regulations.

“We have been giving advice and guidance to companies to improve the health and safety measures for their workers. Violations are referred to the authorities concerned for further action,” said Alam.

The section also conducts periodic medical tests on workers to check their health condition and monitor the work environment.

“We act on reports or complaints about workplaces and labour accommodations and call the affected workers for medical tests,” said Alam.

The section is currently planning to launch an awareness campaign on H1N1 targeting labourers, in collaboration with the Communicable Diseases Control section at SCH.