Labour Dept: Strong occupational health, safety culture needed

National 2 minutes, 24 seconds


A STRONG safety and health culture can only exist when there are mechanisms in place that guarantee the right to a safe and healthy working environment, said the Acting Commissioner of Labour yesterday.

Hazmin Hatta Hj Hamzah said this in his speech at an event to celebrate ‘World Day for Safety and Health at Work 2015’ at the Labour Department.

He elaborated that a strong safety and health culture can only exist when governments, employers and employees actively participate with clearly defined roles and responsibilities that are geared towards prevention rather than reaction.

Commemorated annually on April 28, the theme for this year World Day for Safety and Health at Work is ‘Join in Building a Culture of Prevention on Occupational Safety and Health (OSH)’.

Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Hj Awg Halbi Hj Mohd Yussof in his capacity as the chairman of the Workplace safety and Health Committee attended the event.

“A strong culture of safety and health is one that promotes increased general awareness, a positive workplace attitude, knowledge-sharing of hazards and risks, meaningful goals and mutual accountability throughout the organisation,” he added.

Hazmin Hatta stressed that dialogues between governments and stakeholders is crucial in influencing OSH governance not only in the singular workplace but at the national level.

“While the complexity and extent of safety and health issues may result in various institutions sharing responsibilities in the field of Occupational Safety and Health, it remains important to realise that the obligations of employers and the responsibilities of their respective workers should be seen as both complementary and mutually reinforcing in formulating a strategy approach that is catered to our national practices,” he said.

The Acting Labour Commissioner also stressed that all employers in Brunei have fundamental roles to play in ensuring that equipment, agents, premises and processes under their care take into account the safety and well-being of all their workers.

“Employers should strive to continuously assess and manage workplace risks, undertake relevant preventive and control measures and provide training solutions to their workers,” he said.

Hazmin Hatta said they encourage all employers’ organisations to actively participate in awareness-raising campaigns on safety and health issues in consultation with policy makers.

Occupational Safety and Health will continue to play a significant role in the betterment of our developing private sector industries as well as the overall wellbeing of workers in Brunei.

Hazmin Hatta said since Brunei’s membership to the International Labour Organization (ILO) in 2007 as its 180th constituent, Brunei has strived to cooperate closely with the ILO in an effort to develop as well as realise decent and safe workplaces.

“Leveraging on our international, regional as well as multilateral relationships for cooperative and capacity-building initiatives is an important aspect towards building an occupational safety and health culture that is applicable, relevant and wide in scope,” he said.

The Brunei Times