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23 Nov 2022

Maithe Chini, Brussels Times (Belgium)

Qatar 2022: Besix involved in three worksite deaths in five years in their World Cup stadiums projects; incl. co. comments

"Belgian construction company involved in 'three official deaths' at World Cup in Qatar", 22 Nov 2022

Despite reports of thousands of deaths, the Qatari authorities are only recognising "three official deaths" during the construction of the eight stadiums for the 2022 World Cup. Strikingly, those three deaths were recorded on the construction sites of Belgian company Besix – one of the main sponsors of the Red Devils...

At that time, Besix was already running two projects in Qatar in the context of the upcoming World Cup: the renovation of the Khalifa International stadium and the construction of the Al Janoub stadium. Both projects are led for Besix by Six Construct, the entity it founded in 1967 for its activities in the Middle East.

The works started in 2014. Two years later, in 2016, Amnesty International published a report on the "appalling" working conditions at the construction site of the Khalifa International stadium, citing corrupt recruiting agents, lies about wages, confiscated visas and passports, forced labour, threats and working days in the scorching heat...

Confronted with the report, Six Construct told VRT that it had already intervened six months earlier and cancelled contracts with the most "rogue subcontractors."...

"“There were unfortunately three fatal accidents during the five years we worked on the stadiums in Qatar (2014–2019). These five years represent 100 million working hours for Besix and our subcontractors...This ratio of three fatal accidents per 100 million working hours is lower than the fatal accident rate of the construction sector in general in Belgium, which is 4.6 fatal accidents per 100 million working hours (the sector had 52 fatal accidents from 2017 to 2020 for more than 1.1 billion working hours on construction sites in Belgium)."
Besix in a statement to VRT