The idea first came to me when my father was involved in a serious traffic accident. I knew that I could use my knowledge and training from my role in the ROO Health Safety and Environment Department to improve safety standards and provisions in my local community, educating those around me and saving lives.
I established an organization, called the HSE Organization, in 2016 with the aim of helping people through raising awareness and offering guidance around health and safety issues across the Al-Muthanna Province. Once we had gained official approval for the organization, one of our first priorities was to tackle the increase in traffic incidents and the general lack of awareness about staying safe – areas that I knew I could impact upon positively.
I am very grateful to be joined by volunteers and activists that generously give their time, when possible, to carry out the work of the organization. We have gone from strength to strength and I’m really proud of what we’ve achieved so far. We deliver talks and training sessions, carry out visits to various local work sites, produce accident surveys that highlight lessons for the future, distribute safety guideline material and have created safety awards to recognize outstanding individuals that are leading by example. We have also established branches of the organization in Bagdad, Mosel and plan to open one soon in Basra.
Our collaborative work with governmental bodies has built trust with authorities and public alike, and I have met with the Deputy of Iraqi Minister of Health and Environment to discuss health and environment standards. One of our greatest achievements is having our HSE booklet approved and distributed by the Council of Ministers to all Al-Muthanna Province businesses and other Iraqi provinces.
All of our activities, initiatives and guidelines are inspired by my learnings from Rumaila. Put simply, none of this would have been possible without ROO.
My colleagues at Rumaila remain very supportive and continue to push me to perform to the highest standard, both in and outside of work. It’s empowering to share what I have learnt to make a real, tangible difference to those around me. And it’s encouraging to see so many people embracing our work and taking action. We can create something positive and we can make a difference, we just have to take that first step.