An in-depth analysis of work-related deaths and injuries in Qatar by the International Labour Organization, has shown that 50 workers lost their lives in 2020 and just over 500 were severely injured, with 37,600 suffering mild to moderate injuries.
Most were suffered by migrant workers from Bangladesh, India and Nepal, mainly in the construction industry. Falls from height and road traffic accidents were the top causes of severe injuries, followed by falling objects on worksites.
The report, One is too many: The collection and analysis of data on occupational injuries in Qatar , provides the most complete and accurate picture of work-related deaths and injuries ever compiled in the country. Its findings are based on data collected from all medical institutions that provide acute care for injured workers in the country.
Publication of the report follows growing calls for greater transparency and accountability on work-related deaths in Qatar, particularly those relating to World Cup infrastructure projects.
“This is by far the most comprehensive and accurate picture of occupational injury in the State of Qatar to date,” said Dr. Rafael Consunji, Director of Hamad Injury Prevention Program of the Hamad Trauma Center, and Primary Investigator of the Work-related Injury Unified Registry for Qatar (WURQ) research grant. “We are pleased to see that our research findings have already been applied to the design of awareness raising campaigns for workers and employers, and in training programmes for labour inspectors.”
“The transparency shown in the review of the data collection and analysis processes has allowed us to put forward a set of concrete recommendations that can serve as a road map for action. We must move with urgency, as behind each statistic there is a worker and their family.”
Max Tuñón, Head of the ILO Project Office in Qatar
The ILO collaborated with key institutions in Qatar to analyse the findings and data collection systems of multiple authorities in the country. Its report identifies gaps in data collection and differences in the way multiple ministries and institutions categorize work-related injuries and deaths. As a result, it is still not possible to present a categorical figure on the number of fatal occupational injuries in the country, the report says.
It calls for better quality and more accurate data collection, with more efforts to investigate injuries and fatalities that may be work-related but are not currently categorized as such. This will ensure workers and their family members receive due compensation in case of occupational injuries. Such investigations should be carried out by medical professionals as well as by labour inspectors. The Ministry of Public Health should also set up a national integrated platform that pulls together timely and reliable occupational injury data, the report says.
“The transparency shown in the review of the data collection and analysis processes has allowed us to put forward a set of concrete recommendations that can serve as a road map for action,” said Max Tuñón, Head of the ILO Project Office in Qatar. “We must move with urgency, as behind each statistic there is a worker and their family.”