Posted on January 20, 2016

Qatar University (QU) Health Clinic organized and hosted a training course on January 19 to promote health and safety awareness of risk materials and waste. Themed “Prevention is better than cure”, the course was organized in conjunction with Occupational Health and Safety Department (OHSD) at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), and aimed to raise community awareness on health and safety processes, and facilitate the creation of safe workplace environments. Course participants included over 180 students, Health Clinic doctors and QU faculty and staff.

The program agenda included presentations delivered by QU environmental health officer Ms Laura Vallenius and HMC safety instructor Mr Leo Dote. They addressed topics on “Qatar University’s Environment, Health and Safety Guidelines” and “Health and Safety Management of Hazardous Materials and Waste”. A sideline exhibition featured information booths by QU Environment, Health and Safety Office (EHSO), and Qatar Red Crescent (QRC). Attendees were provided with information on QU’s hazardous waste disposal procedures, and QRC’s health and safety services, as well as a brief session on first aid.

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Commenting on the event, Health Clinic head Dr Hafsa Hashad noted that it highlighted QU’s core role in raising awareness on various issues related to health and well-being in Qatar, adding, “our aim is to ensure the best standards of health and safety systems in the workplace that can have a significant and positive impact on overall health, welfare and productivity, and therefore on an organization’s success.” Ms Vallenius said that QU has been consistent in upholding international best practice and standards of workplace health and safety and that the course is an example to its commitment in this regard. “It is an opportunity to collaborate in knowledge-sharing with its partners in engaging the community on important issues such as this”,  she added.

Mr Dote said: “Hazardous materials and waste in the workplace require sound management to ensure smooth organizational operations. Workers who are in the frontline of  activities involving such type of waste are to be made aware of chemical hazards and associated risks that jeopardize their health, and adversely impact productivity. Hence safety must always be considered a priority where hazardous materials are concerned, and education and training can be beneficial in ensuring the safety of the various operational and organizational processes.”