Enforcement of the Workers' Welfare Standards
Workers' recruitment

Enforcement of the Workers' Welfare Standards

Continuing to enforce the Workers’ Welfare Standards and best-practice health and safety standards for all SC capital projects and manpower services contracts through the four-tier auditing system.

The SC’s Workers’ Welfare Standards (WWS), are a set of mandatory requirements developed to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of workers across the FIFA World Cup 2022™ project. They are applicable and enforced for all contractors and Other Contracting Parties (OCPs) working in the construction of SC stadiums and training sites that will be used for the tournament.

WWS implementation ensures that companies working on these projects operate in line with the SC’s values and ethics as well as the Qatari labour law, and that all workers contributing to the delivery of these projects are treated with respect and dignity. Audits and inspections of the WWS is well-established and is carried out using a four-tier audit system overseen by the Workers’ Welfare Department (WWD). This includes audits and inspections conducted by the SC, external monitor Impactt Ltd, and the Ministry of Labour (MoL) on an ad-hoc basis. More than 74,000 hours of audits and inspections have taken place as of the end of July 2021.

To find out more watch the workers’ welfare journey video.

The SC’s Workers’ Welfare Health & Safety team also carries out specialised accommodation and site welfare inspections focusing on workers’ health & safety. Since 2020, health and safety inspections have also been extended to the hospitality industry as part of the Workers’ Welfare ongoing legacy expansion to include tournament-centric services. A total of 1,117 health and safety inspections (842 at construction sites and 275 at accommodation sites) were conducted in 2020, and 292 health and safety inspections (171 at construction sites, 54 at accommodation sites, 24 at hospitality industry sites and 43 unannounced*) were conducted in 2021 to date.
*unannounced inspections are conducted without prior information to the contractor, and cover topics different than the site and accommodation welfare inspections.

In addition to these inspections, the Technical Delivery Office (TDO) Health & Safety team conducted a combined total of 18,510 inspections on all FIFA World Cup 2022™ construction site projects in 2020 and 7,691 inspections in 2021 (as of July 2021).

The Joint Working Group set up by the SC and Building and Wood Workers’ International (BWI), following a Cooperation Agreement in 2016, has conducted 20 on-the-ground inspections and two virtual inspections since its inception and until July 2021, focusing on construction sites and their associated accommodation facilities. During recent inspections, a number of good practices were identified and acknowledged, including contractors being proactive, a high standard of housekeeping and the quality of the accommodation, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) compliance, proper management of work-at-height and cable management. Most of the issues identified were observations, indicating that the WWS are now deeply ingrained in the SC programme. Though the frequency of on-the-ground inspections have been hindered due to COVID-19 restrictions, both parties regularly convene online to ensure minimal disruption to the shared objective of protecting workers on SC projects.

Health and Safety Record

The SC has always been transparent in relation to its health and safety record and regularly discloses all work-related fatalities and non-work-related deaths in its annual progress reports.

Over the course of 401 million working hours, there have been three work-related fatalities. The SC deeply regrets these tragedies and investigated each incident in line with its Incident Investigation Procedure (IIP) to ensure lessons were learned. In recent times, the SC has leveraged the expertise of international health and safety experts from BWI and the UK Health and Safety Executive on work-related fatalities investigations.

Corrective action is put in place to prevent further recurrences and as a result, the SC has recorded an Accident Frequency Rate (AFR) of 0.02 across the FIFA World Cup™ construction sites, which is low when compared to other mega events.

There have also been 36 non-work-related deaths recorded on the programme from start of construction on SC sites and until July 2021. The IIP involves evidence collection and analysis, witness interviews to establish the facts as well as preparing a detailed report.

For more information on overall progress and performance related to workers’ welfare please see our annual reports here.

COVID-19 response

The COVID-19 pandemic has posed unprecedented challenges for many aspects of tournament preparation, none more important than protecting the workforce. The SC adopted a proactive approach to protect the health of FIFA World Cup™ construction site workers, which helped delay the onset of the spread.

Throughout the pandemic, the SC maintained communication with workers to raise awareness of the precautionary measures put in place to ensure their health and safety. The existing healthcare infrastructure was leveraged to provide immediate support and treatment to workers who tested positive.

This case study highlights how COVID-19 was managed on SC sites. Key steps that were taken by the SC include:

  1. A range of preventative measures implemented in accordance with the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) guidelines, including mask and sanitiser distribution, awareness raising, daily testing of workers' temperatures, barring non-essential visitors and OCPs from entering sites, social distancing in accommodations, buses and on sites, interim disinfection protocols, and establishment of quarantine rooms on all SC sites.

  2. Risk assessments were conducted on all accommodation, kitchen and catering facilities, and task-specific inspections and daily site inspections established to ensure workers' welfare.

  3. Workers that were identified as high risk, (i.e. as having pre-existing health conditions and/ or being over 55 years old), were temporarily demobilised and relocated to a centralised accommodation facility, while their salaries continued to be paid. They also received meals tailored to their medical needs.

  4. A mental health awareness campaign was rolled out to all workers, and interviews were conducted with workers regarding their well-being.

  5. A dedicated SC isolation facility was set up, operating in line with the MOPH and the Communicable Disease Center (CDC) guidelines, and staffed by MOPH doctors and nurses. The facility was closed after four months, following a significant drop in the number of active cases.

  6. Since the nation-wide COVID-19 vaccination campaign was initiated, 13,438 workers have been fully vaccinated and 1,489 workers have received the first dose as of July 2021.