Occupational safety and health professionals heard that religion can have a positive effect on the work they do if it is understood correctly.
Musallam Khaifi said that education is vital when it comes to keeping workers out of harm’s way in Oman, to ensure that their health and safety is not compromised by certain religious beliefs.
In a presentation at a meeting of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health’s (IOSH) Oman Branch he said that people need to be educated about the need to protect themselves as they go about their daily business.
Musallam said that fatalism, which refers to the belief that events fixed by fate are unchangeable regardless of any human intervention, can lead to workers failing to ensure safety.
The health and safety consultant said: “Wrong perceptions lead to errors with good intentions. For every ounce of perception, a tonne of education is required.”
All religions, he said, illustrate the principle of positive action in people to ensure that neither themselves nor others come to any harm.
Musallam said: “This principle applies not just to one’s friends, family and neighbours, but to all. It is a foundation of peace, social justice and health and safety.”
The branch meeting was held at The Park Inn by Radisson in Muscat on Monday 7 September. Delegates were shown images of people putting themselves at risk, in the workplace.
Branch chair Peter McNair said: “The topic of HSE and religion is a hugely complex one. It is clear that education is vital to make sure that people do not put themselves at risk as a result of their beliefs.
“Musallam gave a very good presentation on how through education religion can have a good impact on HSE. It was very well received by all delegates at the meeting. Musallam has profound expertise in this area and his presentation was very informative.”
The meeting also saw Musallam, who works for safety consultancy and advisory firm Dekra Insight, welcomed onto the Oman Branch’s committee, along with Wayne Midgely and Sheika Al Jailani.