London, (Parliament Politicians Magazine) – can reveal the UK’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE), provided advice and support to the organisers of this year’s FIFA World Cup in Qatar, on workers safety and preventing accidents on the 25 sites directly linked to the tournament.
Additionally, the HSE also provided advice on regulation to the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy.
A senior Official at the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, told parliamentnews.co.uk that since construction work had started on all of the world cup sites, contrary to media reports there had been three fatalities, adding that they had worked hard with experts from around the globe to improve health and safety on site, including from the UK’s highly respected HSE.
The news of the involvement of the HSE is likely to raise eyebrows in Westminster, after several Labour MPs, including Lucy Powell, the Shadow Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport publicly backed the idea of a boycott of the World Cup, for alleged abuses of migrant workers, after a string of lurid reports about fatalities in the Gulf state and poor working conditions.
However, a number of the claims have been rebutted by the World Cup’s organisers and the National Human Rights Committee, which highlight a string of improvements on pay and conditions for the 2.3 million migrant workers in Qatar. These include:
Claims of improvements, by Qatari officials are also supported by the International Labour Organisation, a UN agency that has also been working with the Gulf State to implement better rules and regulations for workers.
Approached by parliamentnews.co.uk a HSE spokesperson said: “This kind of work is normal for HSE. As an internationally respected regulator, we are often asked to help overseas organisations.”
The HSE was set up under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 as an independent regulator, with its own board of directors and staff. It is responsible for: inspecting, investigating and prosecuting where breaches of the Act take place, research and the promotion of health and safety. It also makes recommendations to government on regulation and the operation of health and safety legislation.
Although the primary role of the HSE is the protection of workers, it covers all people affected by work activity, so has a role in many public safety issues as well as gas safety.
Its enforcement role is shared with other regulators, in particular local authorities, however there are separate regulators for the rail industry, civil aviation and the maritime industry.
Its expertise and professionalism are highly respected around the world and HSE staff routinely provide advice and support to international partners and organisations around legislation and regulation designed to improve working conditions and safety in the workplace.
parliamentnews.co.uk have approached the Labour Party for a comment and will add this in should one be received.