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Interview: Harald Hartung, Managing Director, Doka Qatar

11.04.2017 | News
What is the inspiration behind organising and sponsoring ‘Safety with Doka’ together with the LDREC HSE?
Doka has always prioritised safety on site. As a company we believe that working safely is an essential ingredient to completing the task in hand both quickly and efficiently. Having liaised with the representatives of the LDREC HSE Forum, their team paid us a visit to our Mesaieed site in December last year, where they showed great interest in our facilities, and in particular our safety products and systems. Given our time constraints on the day we were unable to provide our guests with an in depth scope for all our safety features, so we decided to coordinate a specific event which would allow not only LDREC to fully understand what we offer, but also provide an opportunity for industry stakeholders to come and see first-hand how our products and systems have been designed to offer maximum protection for all site staff.

In brief, the inspiration behind the joint “Safety with Doka” event was to share our conviction based on decades of international experience that working in a safe site environment means working fast and efficiently and to showcase the diverse range of products and systems.

Since your arrival in Doha last year, what in your opinion is Qatar’s greatest challenge where HSE is concerned?

Qatar isn’t particularly different from many other countries where HSE is concerned, in that interpretation and experience play a major role in the decision making process and since we have clients from many different countries and backgrounds, we encounter a wide range of standards where site safety is concerned. Typically, the biggest challenge in the HSE sector, particularly in highly competitive markets such as Qatar, is to ensure contractors maintain a focus on the importance of safety, and not to ‘cut corners’ for the sake of being fiscally competitive.

With this in mind, Doka Group’s Middle East office has recently engaged in an exclusive collaboration with a manufacturer of a certain range of basic site safety items and systems including barriers, safety net fans and loading platforms. By avoiding excessive transportation and administrative costs, we have been able to address the industry cliché that safety means expense and through this collaboration we are able to offer the whole-of-market a highly cost-effective solution, which will provide a significant increase in site safety.

During your speech this morning, you mentioned that “HSE is in our genetics” – could you illustrate an example of this and how it is supporting Qatar’s construction market?

As mentioned earlier, HSE is a cornerstone of Doka’s philosophy, something that is reflected not just in our products and systems, but also in our corporate ethos.

Doka maintains a worldwide VITAL scheme that offers all our employees’ advice and assistance towards living a healthy life. Our factory is a zero waste facility whereby all unavoidable waste is separated and recycled at a rate of 100%, or transformed into energy.

When it comes to designing our products and systems, each piece is designed under the strictest safety considerations. From comparatively smaller details such as fall-out-prevention-lock and anti finger-squeeze design, through to our safety screens and props, all components are designed to reduce the physical strain on site staff, while protecting them from the typical risks found on site.

As a multinational company, Doka also provides safety seminars for its clients from each of its 70 locations around the world, ensuring that all our clients stay up-to-date with our latest product features, while reinforcing our philosophy that working safely means working fast and efficiently.

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