Qatar FIFA World Cup

Latest report on worker welfare highlights Qatar 2022 progress, challenges

Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) on Thursday published their second annual Worker’s Welfare Progress Report, part of an ongoing effort to ensure the safety of over 12,000 workers currently involved in stadium construction projects ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

The report highlights the results of a combined 4,600 hours of auditing by the Worker’s Welfare Division’s (WWD), which oversees standard and compliance initiatives related to worker safety, between January 2016 and February 2017.

“The period covered in this report saw numerous important developments, with particular regard to auditing and inspections,” SC Secretary General Hassan Al Thawadi wrote in his introduction. “We have committed to an approach that seeks to encourage our contractors and partners to understand the long-term bene ts of improving their standards on workers’ welfare issues.

Amongst a number of improvements touted are an increase in accommodations near the eight active stadium sites, reducing travel time for workers. Over 30 monthly forums have been established to address worker grievances, and a 24/7 phone hotline in multiple languages provides workers with another confidential outlet to report issues. According to the WWD, three contractors have been blacklisted for issues related to non-compliance.

The report identifies seven deaths during the reporting period, two of which are considered “work-related fatalities” stemming directly from workplace accidents. The remaining five deaths, all resulting from heart or respiratory failure, have resulted in health-related initiatives such as the introduction of a nutrition program.

“We have carried out thorough investigations, and will learn from these tragic incidents,” Al Thawadi wrote. “We have shared our findings with the contractors and have instituted certain measures across the entire programme to avoid recurrences.”

Qatar’s progress in delivering West Asia’s first World Cup, a decision which remains controversial, is sure to fall under increased scrutiny as construction continues on eight remaining venues, four of which are scheduled to be completed by the end of 2019. Khalifa International Stadium, which is scheduled to host matches through the tournament’s quarter-finals, opened last month.