Qatar is an economically dynamic country in which the manual labour workforce constitutes the majority of the population. In this context, occupational injuries and diseases are important public health challenges that need to be appropriately addressed in order to ensure health and wellbeing of the workforce.

Information from the Hamad Trauma Registry suggests that there is a fatal occupational injury rate of 1.6 per 100,000 workers. A report based on 6,555 trauma admissions from January 1, 2010 to December 31, 2013 showed that 2,015 (30.7%) of trauma cases were occupational injuries with falls from heights being common among injured workers. Internationally, the fatal work injury rate for US workers in 2014 was 3.3 per 100,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers according to the Bureau of Labour Statistics. In the UK, the number of workers fatally injured in 2014/15 is 142, and corresponds to a rate of fatal injury of 0.46 deaths per 100,000 workers according to UK National Statistics. Qatar has three times the fatality rate of the UK, but just less than half of the US.

Health implications

Occupational health injuries can often be severe, resulting from injury or trauma due to an accident or negligence in the workplace. The vast majority of occupational health injuries in Qatar affect manual labour workers. Relatively minor injuries can be treated and the individual return to work, however acute injuries may result in the individual being unable to perform their job as before, leading to loss of employment and income.

Occupational Health Objectives

The strategy’s objectives are informed by the WHO’s recommendation for the development of an occupational health profile including demographic information, economic data, health sector description, and disease statistics for all countries. This data and reporting system will enable authorities to identify trends in occupational health and focus efforts on areas of most concern. Educating manual labourers and ensuring safety standards are maintained are also both key aspects of the objectives aimed at reducing the incidence of workplace injury.

(Source: Hamad Trauma Registry, Bureau of Labour Statistics, UK National Statistics)

Occupational Health Objectives

  1. OH1Enhance the occupational health capability that contributes to the development, implementation and enforcement of occupational health standards
  2. OH2Establish an information and reporting system for the monitoring of occupational health
  3. OH3Minimize the rate of occupational diseases, injuries, fatalities and exposure to hazards at all workplaces