Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Qatar: Safety & Environment

The official name of the country is the state of Qatar. It is in Western Asia, beside the Persian Gulf. Geographically we can say it’s between latitudes 24° and 27° N, and longitudes 50° and 52° E. It is approximately 11000sq km. Their cost line about 370km.  Their main economic power is oil. Before discovering oil, they were known for their sea trade and pearl hunting.



Figure 1: Qatar. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qatar

Most of the land of Qatar is low, plain and unproductive which is covered with sands. Weather is very hot and humid in summer and mild in winter.

Qatar is using GIS technology in various ways, especially in highway construction. They use GIS and mapping to adjust with the geographical condition, giving idea of solution, feasibility study, quality assurance, and survey and environment safety of their country with the engineering team.

What Safety & Environment
The managers or the department in a company who are responsible for environment issues, employee’s health and safety are called EHS (Environmental Health and Safety). It is also known as SHE or HSE department.

The responsibilities of EHS are to prevent accidents or incidents and also give protection or mainly reduce any negative effect from company’s activity.

EHS guidelines are of the international finance corporation for Good International Industry Practice (GIIP).

1. Environmental

1.1 Air Emissions and Ambient Air Quality
1.2 Energy Conservation
1.3 Wastewater and Ambient Water Quality
1.4 Water Conservation
1.5 Hazardous Materials Management
1.6 Waste Management
1.7 Noise
1.8 Contaminated Land and Remediation
1.9 releases to water
1.10 releases to land
1.11 use of raw materials and natural resources
1.12 energy emitted, heat/radiation/vibration
1.13 waste and by-products
2. Occupational Health and Safety

2.1 General Facility Design and Operation
2.2 Communication and Training
2.3 Physical Hazards
2.4 Chemical Hazards
2.5 Biological Hazards
2.6 Radiological Hazards
2.7 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
2.8 Special Hazard Environments
2.9 Monitoring
3. Community Health and Safety

3.1 Water Quality and Availability
3.2 Structural Safety of Project Infrastructure
3.3 Life and Fire Safety (L&FS)
3.4 Traffic Safety
3.5 Transport of Hazardous Materials
3.6 Disease Prevention
3.7 Emergency Preparedness and Response
4. Construction and Decommissioning

4.1 Environment
4.2 Occupational Health and Safety
4.3 Community Health and Safety
Qatar’s steps on Safety & Environment
Qatar is very concern about Safety & Environment. For example, they keep changes in policies for fuel and environmental management even in their aviation industry. They know these changes are to adapt with fast changing business, political and social environment.

Qatar’s medical officers are getting training in US. They had incorporated most advanced medical equipment and training. Qatar has a medical school which is focusing on children and woman’s health.
Qatar is importing products from US, like
* Workplace safety equipments.
* Oil and gas field-related safety and security equipment
* Fire detection and prevention equipment particularly for oil and gas facilities
To prevent the exploitation of hydrocarbon resources, Qatar has some environmental laws for their Gas and Oil industries. To save the energy sectors, this state also absorbed regional and international conventions and treaties. They also joined with the global effort to preserve their marine life and atmosphere.

Qatar has made regional and mutual agreements with international agreement for the Environment safety of their own country and the world. For example:
* Montreal Protocol for the protection of the ozone layer
* The Basel Convention on the control of trans-boundary movements of hazardous wastes and their disposal
* The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
* The International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL 73/78)



Figure 2: Map of the State of Qatar showing major oil and gas fields and pipelines

Gas and Petroliam in Qatar

Qatar has world’s third largest reserves of Natural Gas.
Qatar is planning to invest about $70 million for mostly for their main natural resource Natural Gas sector. They are also building LNG trains (is a liquefied natural gas plant's liquefaction and purification facility) and also ordering world’s largest LNG (liquefied natural gas) tankers.

Environmental Protection

Qatar has national environmental protection laws to Natural Gas Industries on exploration, processing, transportation, storage and domestic utilization. They are Decree Laws No. 4 (1977), No. 11 (2000) and No. 30 (2002).

Law No. 4 of 1977 is on “The Conservation of Petroleum Resources”. It has the regulations on petroleum exploration, production and operations.
They made the modification at Law in 2002. Here they added regulations on all activity of Health, Safety and Environment (HSE), which includes the responsibility for monitoring and control of safety, industrial hygiene and the working environment with all previous regulations.

The fundamental objective of the “National Environmental Protection Law” is
(i)                 Pursuit of sustainable development principles in the utilization of natural resources;
(ii)               Preservation and protection of the natural environment against environmental pollution from all sectors;
(iii)             Use of environmental impact assessment to monitor State projects;
(iv)              Development of contingency plans for emergency preparedness in the state;
(v)               Control of hazardous wastes movement;
(vi)             Protection of the atmospheric environment;
(vii)           Protection of the aquatic environment; and
(viii)         Protection of the marine environment against oil spill, municipal and industrial toxic wastes from land-based sources.

This “National Environment Law” includes both the industrial activities and equipment. Like
* Sour gas sweetening facilities.
* Open combustion sources;
* Gas turbines;
* Loading tankers;
* Oil, LNG and gas production.
* Fugitive emissions
* Petrochemical plants.
* Wastewater emission standards
* Thermal criteria for the abovementioned facilities
* For air quality… standards for sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, inhalable particulates ozone and lead.
All the regulations are to save the marine environment from pollution. Like
* Organic and toxic trace metals
* Chemical oxygen
* pH and thermal pollution (SCENR 2003)

All the regulations are regularly reviewed and reported by QP top management to ensure those meets the national standards.

Organizations for Environmental Safety

In Qatar, there are many government and non government organization that are working and giving training for Qatar’s Environmental Safety. The professionals who are related with Environmental Health and Safety are playing vital role for the safety and wellness of workers.  Especially for those people, are working, in mining and with the related industries.

The Environmental professionals inspect and assess every issues related with the workers to ensure their good health and accident free working environment. These professional has investigation skill, technical knowledge in health and safety and more over they have interpersonal skill.

Training:
These professional gets training on some important issues related with environmental safety, like:
            * They get training to get enough knowledge and skill to inspect and asses effectively, check the facilities in the workplace for workers health and safety.
            * understand and apply effectively all necessary government legislation and policies.
            * Indentifying and correct the existing rules and check the possible occupational health and safety hazards.
            * performing investigation on accident.
            * performing proper risk assessment.
            * developing strategies to control risks.
            * Creating and providing safety training programs, for workers.
            * Handling and storage hazard rescue materials in work place.
            * Professionalism and responsibility in work.

Industries are following this:

Accident at Oil and Gas industry cause damage in human life and also threaten to the environment. These accidents effects go on the company and human for years. Every year millions of dollar expends for restoration of these accidents. Many of these incidents suddenly come up. But many repeatedly happen, for the lack of good practice of rules and regulations of industry safety and health management system. It means that company isn’t taking lessons from past.
Industries in Qatar are committed to follow Environmental rules for their staffs. Their main concern areas are:
            * Safety rules: Industries are developing safety rules for their employees to prevent any hazard. They reward who follows the safety rules correctly. They also checks are the rules are following by the staffs or not.
            * Personal safety: Here companies checks their rules that are they following by the employees and are these helping to prevent the accidents or not. Companies want to make their strategy simple and easy to follow, that their employees don’t feel problem to go with those.
            * Security and human rights: To maintain human right, the companies protect and give safety to their employees. And provide them a secure working environment.

Award:
Qatar Petroliam (QP) provides an award on “Health, Safety and Environment Excellence (HSE) Award“. This award has been launched at 2010 to encourage QP’s business unit, joint venture companies and contractors to promote HSE culture.

Because of this award, all will know about that company who successfully implementing programs, taking initiative to achieve excellent in management for safe and secure occupational environment and who are implementing rules in their daily operations.

Conclusion
Qatar is committed for Environmental Safety. For best practice of maintaining environmental resources Qatar is taking help from world’s known researchers. And for better environmental research Qatar has The Environment Studies Center (ESC) at Qatar University.

References:
10.  http://www.greenprophet.com/2012/08/qatar-eco-summit-spotlights-environmental-safety/


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