Qatalum trains construction workers in safe work at heights

At any construction site, work at heights represents the most dangerous work situation. The Qatalum project is taking near 4,000 construction workers through a "Safe work at heights" course to ensure everyone’s safety.

​​​​TRAINING: Much of the work on the construction site for the Qatalum aluminium plant in Mesaieed, Qatar, will be done at heights. Training in safe work at heights is an integral part of the HSE efforts. (All photos: Jan Terje Halmrast)

On November 9, the first "Safe work at heights" training class went through a four-hour training session. When the training is completed on December 17, almost 4,000 workers and line management will have been through the training.

"The responsibility for safety performance is always with the relevant contractor. However, to support  our contractors in maintaining a trained and qualified workforce, Qatalum offers this training free of charge," says HSE manager of the Qatalum project, Jan Arild Berget.

"The fact that so many are completing the course is a strong indication of how important our contractors value the safety of their employees," says Berget.

Due to the interest shown by the contractors, Qatalum has already decided to continue offering the training in 2009.

The four-hour training session provides the participants with a working knowledge of the ​dangers of working at heights and familiarizes them with the use and application of harnesses and fall protection systems.

The skills are demonstrated by workers during the practical section at the end of the course.

The training is held in different languages – English, Arabic and Hindi – to accommodate the multicultural work force on site.

The training is in line with international standards and Qatalum requirements for work at heights.

Chubb International and M&O Global are carrying out the training on behalf of Qatalum. Upon completing the training, the participants receive a “Certificate of Competence” and a hard hat sticker.

SAFETY: Qatalum's HSE manager is Jan Arild Berget.
SCAFFOLD: A special training scaffold has been set up for the "Safe work at heights" course.​

"By improving the existing skills and competence of individual workers and their supervisory staff, we as a team will achieve challenging safety goals", Berget says.​

Qatalum feels confident that the workforce trained will add to the safety culture on site by ensuring their own safety, and influencing others to work safely at heights as well.

With the construction of Qatalum approximately half-way completed, the project has some impressive safety statistics. And, as Berget says: "We work hard to keep it that way."