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Posted On: 6 August 2020 05:22 pm
Updated On: 17 August 2020 02:57 pm

[UPDATED] Aspire management speaks out on security guards' summer working conditions

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[UPDATED] 17 August, 1:00 PM

We did a follow up on our recent article about the working conditions of the security guards at Aspire Park.

The ILQ team spoke with a security guard at Aspire Park today who anonymously told us that he and the other security guards are assigned specific zones to monitor the safety at the park and have chairs under the tree shade to sit down. They are allowed to patrol around or sit down at their own zones and they only stay outside for one or two hours at a stretch. After that, they go back to their offices to rest and get refreshed. Another security guard takes over after the one or two-hour duration.

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There are videos doing the rounds that created a buzz on social media showing a security guard working in the sun at Aspire Park for long hours. Many of our followers have tagged us to look into this matter as they were concerned. We were equally worried so we decided to look into this and reached out to Aspire Zone to get the facts. (It’s always better to make sure of what’s going on.)

We asked a few questions related to the claims that were made. Here’s what Aspire management’s security team shared with us:

Q1: What’s the security guards' job at Aspire?

A: There are different roles that the security guards have at the park. There are those that handle barrier entries and there are also patrols that make sure that the people that enjoy the park are taken care of. If there are any incidents, they have to report this to the main office so that the relevant authorities or personnel can take action. Their job is to protect the people.

Q2: How many security people work in the park?

A: There are a total of 15 guards in the park that work in shifts.

Q3: How long does security work in the park? How long are their shifts? There are claims that they’re being forced to sit in the sun for 8 hours a day, is this true?

A: The security guard shifts are usually set to 1 hour. Once a guard’s shift is completed, he returns to the cabin and another guard takes over. The patrolling guards also don’t stay in one area and have to monitor different areas, especially those that might not have complete security camera coverage.

Q4: What facilities are available in the cabin?

A: They are air-conditioned, have cold water, and are set up for the team to rest.

Q5: What if a security guard doesn’t feel well due to the weather or is sick?

A: The team is trained to reach any security guard immediately to relieve them and take them back to the cabin. They don’t have to feel sick, a switch is made even if a guard is tired. The security guards also are spread apart and patrolling so that they can make it to any incident location within 10 seconds. If a visitor is sick, a child is lost, or any hazard arises, the patrol is always there to help.

Q6: What are some incidents that have occurred at the park?

A: It could be anything from lost children, to a burning vehicle, or someone who’s over-exhausted themselves and needs medical assistance. The Aspire team works hard to be there for people.

We followed up wanting to understand Aspire Zone’s stance on safety and security. Aspire made it clear that Health and Safety is something they take very seriously and the working conditions of their security personnel always follow local laws.

Summer in Qatar is very hot and it would be ideal for everyone to work inside air-conditioned areas, however, certain jobs require people to work under harsh conditions such as security, police, soldiers, construction workers, cleaners, valet parking, oil and gas. In such cases, it’s the responsibility of the company to make sure the workers are taken care of by placing air-conditioned cabins where possible, fans, and regular supply of cold water and follow the rules set by the Ministry of Labor.

If you notice something that might be wrong, make sure to contact the relevant organization. If you notice a potential violation, notify the company, if no action is taken, notify the authorities.

ILQ is going to be running another ‘Cool Campaign’ where we show our appreciation to the people who have to work in the heat. We’ll be posting more info soon in case you’d like to volunteer too!