Ahmed H. Trabelsi took part in a panel discussion at the Health, Safety, Security & Environment Summit in his capacity as technical director of SPSP, which offers a wide range of vocational training programmes in Saudi Arabia. The focus of the discussion was on access, scaffolding and rigging in the construction industry.
He said that while safety training in the kingdom is “booming” and there is a growing commitment to adopting international standards, he outlined the challenges that need to be addressed to ensure safety continues to improve across industries in Saudi and the wider GCC.
“Raising awareness” – particularly in regard to reporting, analysis and data-collection – requires leadership from the Saudi government and the Ministry of Labour, according to Trabelsi. He added that large companies, such as Saudi Aramco, are setting good examples for smaller companies to follow..
Specifically, Trabelsi said that better data collection for accidents and incidents, as well as more information and analysis of existing practices are all needed to ensure workplace safety continues to improve, adding that “we can talk with the Saudi government about this.”
He cited the UK system as a good example of compulsory reporting, saying reporting accidents and incidents “shouldn’t be a choice”.
“All companies need to comply, rather than seeing this as an individual action,” he said.
With demand for SPSP’s health and safety diplomas high, Trabelsi is optimistic about “a new generation” for workplace health and safety in Saudi. He said that the government’s Saudisation programme, which requires extensive local employee participation in this sector, will help achieve important goals.
Interview by Georgia Lewis Editorial Services