On 15th April 2020 the first positive case was identified and recorded within Qatar Steel. Owing to this incident the company saw a spike in COVID-19 cases by the end of April and decided to shut down the plant for a few weeks. This resulted in successfully arresting the spread of the virus at the workplace due to the strict implementation of various preventive measures:
Activation of Crisis Management Committee: At the onset of the pandemic, the Crisis Management Committee, led by the MD & CEO as the Crisis Commander and comprising all Chiefs Officers, and Senior Managers, was activated to put together a strategic response to addressing and mitigating potential risks arising from the pandemic. The Committee was key in ensuring business continuity and reduced disruptions to operations.
Governance and risk management: A de-escalation plan for coming out of lockdown and COVID-19-related restrictions was laid down by Qatar Steel in line with Qatar Petroleum’s guidelines. Qatar Steel Medical Services team was in charge of liaising with the Communicable Disease Center (CDC) and the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) to stay ahead in receiving information and implementing safety measures at all times.
Successful establishment of safety culture and social distancing norms at the workplace: In addition to the current Life Saving Rules, a new A Life Saving Rule was introduced relating to maintenance of social distancing, wearing of masks, and prohibition of gatherings.
Sanitization of the workplace: Sanitization of the offices and plant buildings took place on a regular basis by the Facilities Department through the usage of advanced cold fogging technology with emission of nano droplets. A total of 129 hand sanitizing dispensers were installed in selected areas of office and plant buildings.
Medical Screening: Employees returning from annual leave and/or sick leave were screened onsite for COVID-19 at the Qatar Steel Medical Services facility before returning to work. A facility was also created to isolate suspected infected cases.