In advance of the Kuwait Health, Safety & Security Forum, Sajed Al-Abdali, Medical Department Leader, EQUATE Petrochemical Company highlights the importance of building occupational health and corporate wellbeing into company strategy
To what extent do you think companies are aware of the importance and benefits of actively promoting worker health and Corporate Wellbeing?
Although many companies claim that they are aware of the importance and benefits of actively promoting worker health and wellbeing, very few take serious actions on that level. Most of the companies just limit their initiatives and activities to whatever the working regulations require, and never go beyond. Corporate Wellbeing, as a philosophy, is much bigger than that. Corporate Wellness should be part of the strategy of the company rather than scattered activities here and there.
What are the main issues and challenges you face in raising the standards of occupational health and Corporate Wellbeing?
The main challenge is the acceptance and the adoption of the Higher Management for Occupational Health and Corporate Wellbeing. Without the presence of such high-level support, all the activities in that sense will be incomplete and threatened to be stopped at any point in time. Successful Occupational Health and Corporate Wellbeing programmes are those which are part of the corporate strategy.
How important is leadership in promoting a good health and safety culture?
As I have mentioned, Leadership support is the main pillar that the whole thing stands on. Leadership commitment and support can communicate the purpose and processes of the workplace health and safety programme to all levels of the organisation.
What measures and initiatives is EQUATE taking in this regard?
EQUATE has Health and Safety as part of the strategy of the company, which means that all programmes and initiatives are fully supported and monitored by the High Management. EQUATE follows the highest international and national Health and Safety standards. All these measures are audited regularly internally and externally to ensure 100 per cent compliance. Moreover, EQUATE has a multidimensional Corporate Wellness Program that covers all aspects of health. The company looks at health in much a broader sense than the simple physical aspects.
How important is the sharing of expertise and best practice in raising standards?
The best method for knowledge transfer is through shared experiences. We learn from failure and success stories much more than we learn from textbooks.
How do you think the Kuwait Health, Safety & Security Forum can help to raise health and safety standards?
The Kuwait Health, Safety & Security Forum is a great opportunity for sharing knowledge and expertise. This will enrich the health and safety field and will surely contribute to raising standards. I personally look forward to this event to learn from our colleagues.
Sajed Al-Abdali will be speaking on Corporate Wellness and Happiness Programmes on 24 September at the Kuwait Health, Safety and Security Forum.