50 attend occupation hygiene course

National 2 minutes, 31 seconds


FIFTY participants representing the government and private sector attended a training course on occupational hygiene at the Department of Pharmaceutical Services at Kg Madaras yesterday.

Organised by the Occupational Health Division of Department of Health Services in collaboration with the Statistical Economic and Social Research and Training Centre for Islamic Countries (SESRIC) in Turkey, the event aims to strengthen the relations among the member countries of Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and equip the occupational health and safety professionals in the aspect of hygiene management.

In his remarks during the opening ceremony, Pg Dr Hj Md Khalifah Pg Hj Ismail, director-general of Health Services at the Ministry of Health, said that occupational health is an important issue in each and every country and Brunei Darussalam is no exception.

“It is imperative that all workers must be in good health, both physically and mentally in order to carry out productive work in their respective workplaces,” said Pg Dr Hj Md Khalifah.

He also mentioned that hygiene practitioners come from various backgrounds such as chemists, engineers, biologists, physicists, doctors, nurses and other professions all of whom have chosen to apply their skills to protecting the health of workers.

Occupational hygiene is multidisciplinary so practitioners must acquire a broad and solid foundation of knowledge across all these disciplines and more, he said.

He went on to say that occupational hygienists have to protect workers from hazards ranging from infectious diseases, physical hazards of noise and heat, chemicals from solvents to acids and alkali to hazards of advanced technologies such as semiconductor manufacture and highly potent pharmaceuticals.

Occupational hazards exposure assessments will be conducted which incorporates activities such as walk-through surveys, worker interviews, observing exposure tasks, material safety data sheets, workforce scheduling, production data, equipment and maintenance schedules to identify potential exposure agents and people possibly exposed.

“We must also bear in mind that with the ever changing nature of work and with rapid industrialisation as well as the plethora of chemicals and emerging hazards, us occupational health practitioners have to anticipate the risks and hazards from these emerging technologies and keep up with the evolving knowledge and technologies,” he said.

With regards to the workshop, Dr NBP Balalla, head of the Occupational Health Division, Department of Health Services at the Ministry of Health, said that the training programme is to increase the knowledge skills with regards to key occupational hygiene issues, among the occupational health and safety professionals of government and private agencies.

Dr Balalla, who is also chairman of the event, hoped that the training would help in capacity building of occupational health and safety professionals for the implementation of Workplace Safety and Health Order 2009.

The training will cover components of occupational hygiene, namely fundamentals of occupational (industrial) hygiene, indoor air quality, noise, vibration, chemical factors and chemical exposures.

The two-day event, which is facilitated by visiting hygiene expert Hj Anuar Mokhtar from Department of Occupational Safety and Health at Ministry of Human Resources of Malaysia, will end today.

The Brunei Times