A report published by the International Labor Organization (ILO) indicates that 50 workers lost their lives in 2020 and just over 500 were seriously injured, including 37,600 with minor to moderate injuries on construction sites in Qatar.
Most of the incidents including deaths were suffered by migrant workers from Bangladesh, India and Nepal, mainly in the construction industry. Falls from heights and traffic accidents are the leading causes of serious injuries, followed by falling objects on construction sites.
The report’s release follows growing calls for greater transparency and accountability over work-related deaths in Qatar, especially those related to infrastructure projects for the World Cup which will take place in 2022.
The ILO has stressed that the numbers could be higher as authorities do not classify all work-related deaths as such, including unexplained deaths among healthy workers and heat-related deaths.
“The transparency demonstrated in reviewing the data collection and analysis processes has enabled us to come up with a set of concrete recommendations that can serve as a roadmap for action.”, said Max Tuñón, head of the ILO project office in Qatar.
“We must act urgently, because behind every statistic, there is a worker and his family”, he added.
Qatar has introduced several labor reforms in recent years, including stricter rules designed to protect workers from the heat and raise the minimum wage.
“No other country has gone so far in labor reform in such a short time, but we recognize that there is still work to be done”, said the press office of the government of Qatar, adding that it was considering the recommendations of the ILO.