Draft Health and Occupational Safety Law submitted to Hluttaw

The draft of the Health and Occupational Safety Law written by the Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population has been submitted to the Hluttaw, said Minister U Thein Swe.

The bill will be discussed in the coming Hluttaw session, he said at the Workplace Safety and Health Seminar on Wednesday.

“It depends on the Hluttaw to approve it. It could take a long time to approve if the Hluttaw has other matters to deal with,” he said.

He said the law needs to be carefully implemented as it concerns several ministries and requires cooperation to carry out the details.

“As Myanmar has no experience on the matter, we will debate it in depth before carrying it out. It is not easy. It needs to be discussed as it is very serious,” he said.

Once the law has been approved, inspectors for workplace safety can be appointed and a department can give instructions for workplace safety measures.

Myanmar is now acting as the chair for workplace safety and health in the ASEAN region. Although Myanmar is working on the topic, proper education and equipment to ensure workplace safety are still lacking.

“Not having a law about it is part of the reason, and some business owners themselves are not aware of it. Similarly, workers don’t take it seriously or are not aware of it.

Let’s say construction workers don’t want to wear helmets and boots on site.

They also don’t want to wear masks, as they bother them. They need to be educated, and everyone needs to cooperate,” said U Thein Swe to The Myanmar Times.

Once the law is passed, more effective work will be carried out on educating workers and employers on safety, conducting inspections, and providing assistance, he said.

The International Labour Organization (ILO) asked to increase data and information on the issue to contribute to occupational safety in Myanmar.

“One of the main challenges in Myanmar is that there are no records. There are no systems to record and store data. So, in order to know the exact situation, data needs to be collected and stored systematically,” said Mr Rory Mungoven, liaison officer of the ILO.

“There are workplace accidents yearly. We are managing to reduce the numbers of accidents. If an accident happens in a worksite area, we go and examine it. We study why it happened and we look for repairs or ways to take action immediately. It needs to be carried out continuously,” said U Thein Swe.

Source: Myanmar Times

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