An official from the World Health Organisation (WHO) has called for more collaboration between the health and energy sectors in the Gulf region in order to prevent and reduce public health risks directly related to oil production and development.
Dr. Qudsia Huda, technical officer for emergency preparedness and health risk reduction at WHO’s regional office for the Eastern Mediterranean, said that risk assessment and partnerships are key to reducing health concerns attributed to the oil and gas sector, while previous regional industrial disasters can provide valuable lessons in managing health risks.
Dr. Huda will be a headline speaker at the 8th Annual HSE Forum in Energy, taking place from 8-10 October at the Doha Grand Hyatt Hotel, where she will address delegates on the importance of bridging the gaps between the health and energy sectors to prevent and reduce associated public health risks in the Gulf region.
“Based on real time assessment of public health risks prevailing in oil and gas producing areas, the health and energy sectors need to come together to raise awareness and advocate the issue to safeguard people’s health,” said Huda.
“Both sectors can work together to develop policy guidelines to specify the roles and responsibilities of each entity in averting health problems, and integrating these at national levels by generating intelligence. Risk assessment and building optimum capacities are very critical areas where health and energy sectors can work together.”
Health impacts believed to be linked to oil development activities in the Gulf region include respiratory and cardiovascular illnesses, auto-immune diseases, liver failure, cancer, skin diseases and other ailments such as headaches, nausea and sleeplessness.
“There are health risks to workers in the oil and gas industries, as well as communities in which oil development is continuing,” added Huda. “Environmental pollution and pollution in the food chain are also directly associated with oil development, as well as mass casualties in catastrophic events such as oil spills and oil tanker accidents.”
Held under the patronage of H.E. Dr. Mohammed Bin Saleh Al-Sada, Minister of Energy & Industry and Chairman of Qatar Petroleum, the 8th Annual HSE Forum in Energy will host more than 45 regional and international HSE experts to discuss HSE best practice and operational excellence.
The dedicated industry conference and exhibition will put a spotlight on the latest developments and technological solutions essential to ensuring the effective health and safety management and sustainable environmental practices in the energy sector.
Added Huda: “The HSE Forum in Energy can create a vital platform for relevant actors to address the need for building capacity for potential industrial disasters in the oil and gas industry. As a health lead agency, we can bring in a global perspective into this conference to reduce health risks from oil industries.”
The two-day conference in Doha will feature 30 presentations, two panel discussions and five hours of networking sessions, before culminating with four half-day post conference workshops on the final day.
Headline speakers include Saif Al Naimi, Director of HSE Regulations & Enforcement Directorate at Qatar Petroleum, Dr. Wells Grogan, Vice President of HSSEQ at Maersk Oil, Jean-Philippe Bérillon, Senior VP of Security & Safety at GDF SUEZ Global Gas & LNG, Richard Pollock, President Elect at ASSE, and Richard Birrer, Executive Director of Saudi Aramco Medical Services Organisation (SAMSO).
The 8th Annual HSE Forum in Energy is supported by Qatar Petroleum, and organised by Fleming Gulf. Gold Sponsors include Dolphin Energy and Industrial Scientific, while ChemSafe, Petrotechnics, Ras Laffan Industrial City, and SHEields are on board as Silver Sponsors.
For more information about HSE Forum in Energy, or to be involved as an exhibitor, sponsor, or delegate, go to www.hse-me.com or call: +971 4 609 1588.
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