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Dr. Al Horr wins the Environment & Sustainability Award during the HSE For Life Conference

Dr. Al Horr wins the Environment & Sustainability Award during the HSE For Life Conference

HSE For Life Qatar is the annual platform for governments, developers, contractors and solution providers to discuss the present challenges of HSE in construction and to encourage and develop collaboration between stakeholders that will allow the implementation of cost effective safety approaches that maintain the high level of industry standards on HSE.

With the quick development of the construction industry in Qatar expected to continue to grow as the 2022 World Cup approaches, the spotlight is squarely focused on the HSE practices used to get major projects to completion without compromising on health and safety.

The challenge to understand and minimise the HSE risks must be taken on by each member of every project team; from foreseeing environmental hazards to planning, implementing and executing training and safety practices.

QPM Partnered in the one-day conference with Bechtel and Construction Week magazine, the event was an in-depth examination of the aspects of Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) as they apply to construction and infrastructure development industries.

During the event the organisers feel that recognising outstanding companies and professionals in HSE aids overall development of the discipline and incentivises HSE activity worldwide. Three awards were received on the day.

Dr Yousef Al Horr, Founder and Chairman of the Gulf Organisation for Research and Development (GORD) wins the Environment & Sustainability Award.

Qatar is expected to release a radically-revised version of its national building code on Monday, with new sections drafted to cover health, safety and environmental construction practices.

The announcement was made during the Construction Week HSE for Life conference held in Doha on Sunday by Dr Yousef al-Horr, chairman of the Gulf Organisation for Research and Development. He addressed the delegates,

It has been a lot of very hard work by a dedicated team led by the Ministry of the Environment. It is a comprehensive document that incorporates the Qatar Sustainability Assessment System (QSAS).

The new 1,800 page document, known as QCS 2010, will be made available through the MoE's website, and includes dedicated HSE and QSAS performance categories aimed at the construction industry.

The new QCS 2010 code tackles energy and water use during construction and operation phases of the building lifecycle, while sections covering HSE will deal with the levels of competence, training and compliance construction personnel must adhere to.

While the new code will be launched by the Ministry on Monday, compliance has been voluntary for all companies who have signed contracts with the Public Works Authority in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Existing developments, such as Al Wakrah and Al Khor cities, have also revised their urban planning schemes to comply with the new QSAS standards.

More than 90 firms from Qatar have signed contracts and comply, and works covering 18 million square metres of neighbourhood developments; 350,000m2 of commercial developments and 75,000m2 of hotel developments are working under the new system. We are very proud of the new codes, and we are looking forward to their compulsory implementation from Monday onwards.

It is worth mentioning, as was the case last year, that once again a Qatari national, founder and chairman of GORD Dr. Youssef al Horr, picked up one of the three awards; indicative of the real strides being made in HSE in Qatar and the region.

A trio of QPM associates spoke in the wake of the event. Ezzat Ragab, the Chief Operating Officer, said,

HSE for Life this year was a landmark event. The aim is to bring the world’s foremost HSE operatives together under one roof, to discuss and enhance understanding of the latest HSE technologies and to exemplify the advances that are being made in HSE in Qatar as the world’s eyes turn to this small but influential country. I think we have been successful in this aim.

Salah Nezar, QPM’s Sustainability Director, commented,

The increasing importance of ‘Environment’ as one part of the HSE make-up is encouraging, especially in a country like Qatar with a large carbon footprint but also the chance to develop new projects using the newest and most environmentally-friendly materials and construction techniques. To make buildings that are more benevolent to the environment, more efficient, and more ‘future proof’.

Finally, QPM’s Corporate HSE Manager, Wayne Taylor, added,

I think what we saw on the day is a real desire and understanding of the importance of HSE in the 21st century from a whole host of perspectives. When we bring the whole HSE concept together, we realise that to make it work we need to think ahead. This is why we need effective project management and this is why QPM threw its weight behind the ‘HSE for Life’ forum with such enthusiasm.