It is time for a public safety commission



Salman bin Muhammad Al-Jishi

Published — Tuesday 13 November 2012

Last update 13 November 2012 7:06 am

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Riyadh’s gas tanker accident and the Ain Dar calamity, both of which claimed lives of dozens of people and resulted in the injury of a large number of citizens and expatriates, are painful and heartbreaking.
The statements and suggestions of some officials regarding the two incidents only add insult to the injuries. They would mention their efforts and blame other parties, not realizing these statements are inadequate at such a time.
In terms of safety measures, several parties assume incomplete roles: This one has a part and that one has another. Jurisdictions and responsibilities are mostly overlapped. This results in a poor follow-up of such incidents, and eventually the victims’ misery is only aggravated.
Some bodies have outstanding safety measures, like Saudi Aramco and the Royal Commission of Yanbu and Jubail. Civil Defense is witnessing advancement in this regard, but when the responsibility of dealing with something is delegated to many parties, the efficiency is reduced.
Why don’t we put all the departments in one independent Royal Commission for Public Safety that reports to the Council of Ministers and is responsible for the dealing with and follow-up of such accidents?
It would be responsible for issuing safety measure regulations that are to be followed by all parties and issuing legislations and sanctions against those who do not abide by them. Lastly, it would have the final word on any case related to public safety.
We don’t have to start from point zero, but we could benefit from Saudi Aramco’s and the Royal Commission’s capabilities and qualified staff in this field and the proposed commission could be based on it.
Such incidents must make us work hard to prepare ourselves for all types of catastrophes so we can work calmly, confidently and accurately during calamities. As a result, our losses and chaos would be much lower.

— Courtesy of Al-Eqtisadiah newspaper.

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