‘Comply with workplace safety rules’

National 3 minutes, 4 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

ALL private and government organisations need to comply with the Workplace, Health and Safety Regulation to ensure the safety of workers, said the minister of home affairs.

Speaking on the sidelines of the World Day for Safety and Health at Work 2016 celebration at Universiti Brunei Darussalam yesterday, Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Hj Awang Abu Bakar Hj Apong said all organisations must comply with the regulations to prevent unintended casualties or accidents.

“Although (the number of fatalities and accidents) is decreasing, we do not leave it to chance. This is a matter of importance for organisations and contractors to observe the regulations,” he said.

The minister said the Labour Department at the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) will continue to monitor health and safety at workplaces.

YB Pehin Dato (Dr) Hj Awang Abu Bakar went on to say that the ministry, together with the Prime Minister’s Office, is looking at improving the structure and organisations to ensure all policies and regulations are adhered.

The minister cited the example of incidents that occurred at the Aman Hill Construction Site in Sg Akar in 2015 and the incident at the Kuala Belait Science College in Mumong in 2014.

According to a previous report by The Brunei Times on January 25, 2015, three foreign nationals lost their lives in a landslide that occurred in Aman Hill Construction Site at Sg Akar.

Another report published on October 23, 2014, stated that nine foreigners were hospitalised after a large beam from the first storey of a building at the Kuala Belait Science College collapsed and pinned down some of the workers.

“These are the kinds of accidents that we take seriously... All measures in terms of health and safety (must be) adhered and followed by contractors,” he said.

Head of Workplace Safety and Health Division under the Labour Department Hazmin Hatta Hj Hamzah said that organisations must comply with the regulation by ensuring the workers are trained on health and safety.

According to Hazmin, the department organises inspections to see whether the organisations are complying with the regulation.

He said actions are taken in accordance to the Workplace, Health and Safety Order 2009 if an organisation is not complying with the regulation.

He said employers should train their workers on safety and health before they are allowed to go into workplace because it will equip them with the ability to spot risks and hazards.

He said training will help manage and avoid accidents.

“It is very difficult to eradicate accidents but we can manage it and manage the risks. To manage, we have to ensure they have proper training,” he said.

Hj Rani Begawan Pehin Siraja Khatib Dato Seri Setia Hj Mohd Yusof, the acting commissioner of labour, said in his speech that there have been some major cases of workplace accidents and incidents in the country.

He said most of the incidents occurred in the construction industry, such as workers falling from heights and falling objects hitting workers.

He advised employers and employees to be aware of the risks and hazards when working at height. He added that proper training should be given to all workers.

“Employers are reminded to make sure their workers know the basic safety and health issues and are trained to safely work at height,” he said.

“We hope that more employers and workers are aware of the importance of safely working at height,” he added.

The ceremony, themed “Workplace Stress: A Collective Challenge”, hopes to support the International Labour Organisation’s commemoration of the World Day for Safety and Health at Work, celebrated annually on April 28.

The celebration also looks to raise awareness of health and safety for workers.

The Brunei Times