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“A picture is worth a thousand words” is an old saying, but it still applies and holds the same value as it did decades ago. QNFS is always attentive in finding new ways to improve the HSSE awareness, knowledge, and experience of its staff. Late in 2012, it started when the previous general manager (Keith Robinson) said that it would be great to have a QNFS comic strip focusing on HSSE issues. This would be another method by which we can raise HSE awareness of our employees that are not all fluent in the English language. ”



QNFS then embarked on the process of developing themes and scripts to form the basis of the comics and the characters. This was especially challenging as we have at l0 different Nationalities at site, each with its own sensitivities and cultures. The concept was to deliver a clear but simple message that could be understood by all without affronting any nationality of the workforce.

To do this it was decided to use an artist that could draw characters based on certain fixed personality traits. There would be a “Boss” that would be very safety conscious and would deliver clear messages to his work team to keep them safe. There would also be a safety conscious worker that could understand the message of the boss and follow his instructions. Then there would be a more work orientated person that does not fully understand safety and the consequences of unsafe actions.

The actions of the less safety orientated employee would then result in incidents and would portray how he learns from these occurrences. These characters are then used the deliver very focused and specific messages in a “fun” format.

QNFS then identified certain topics for the comic strips to address the most common Safety transgressions and concerns. To date the topics include:
o Pinch Points,
o Hazard Identification,
o Safe use of Tools,
o Contained Energy and Breaking / Cracking a Flange.

Based on these topics the detailed script was developed. We then had to find an artist to draw the various characters and relay the message via pictures. This proved to be especially challenging as such artists are few and far between, especially in Qatar. Numerous traditional avenues were explored like contacting the Arts Department at the Qatar University, advertising via news papers but with no success.

Fortunately, while having a cup of coffee one, the topic of the comic development came up in the conversation and we heard about somebody that sketches characters as a hobby and approached him to do the task. Luckily for QNFS he is also a Project Manager for a Construction company and is passionate about Safety and so he quickly agreed to assist us. This was a winning formula as he immediately knew what we were looking for and could easily identify with our concerns.

The first high quality drawings were done in record time with the initial wording done in English. This has now also been translated to the Philippine language of Tagalog and followed by the Indian language of Hindi.

Formal roll-out of the comics has started where QNFS has printed numerous copies of the 6 page comic strip and distributed it amongst the workers and sub-contractors. The feedback received has been very positive and the eager readers are waiting for the second edition. The clients of QNFS are very appreciative of this initiative and have praised QNFS for this pro-active approach.

QNFS could have approached Companies doing this in their normal line of business and gone for an expensive off the shelf solution. Instead QNFS decided to innovate and the result has been lauded by our clients.


By: Eben Burger – QNFS HSSE Manager