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June 24, 2018

Vision Zero Fund to promote labour OHS in Myanmar

Local and foreign representatives from labour sector participate in dialogue of Vision Zero Fund.
Local and foreign representatives from labour sector participate in dialogue of Vision Zero Fund.

THE Vision Zero Fund, an organisation established by the seven leading industrial nations-G7, has taken the first step in Myanmar to assist in occupational health and safety (OHS).
The Fund conducted a political launch in Yangon on Friday inviting representatives from the governmental, employees and labour sectors.
During the dialogue government labour officials suggested the VZF consider the capacity building of its officials and the worksite safety and health of workers at small and medium enterprises while representatives of employers stressed the need to assist in OHS at factories with a high labour force such as garment factories.
Representatives of labour unions suggested paying attention to the lot of workers for whom nothing is currently being done.
Regarding occupational health and safety standards at worksites, U Win Shein, Director-General of the Factories and General Labour Law Inspection Department, suggested improving the capacity building of officials concerning with the labour sector and the raising of awareness of OHS issues at factories.
“We welcome the project. If they give us effective assistance, we will implement it in order to get fruitful results,” said U Win Shein.
Meanwhile, U Aye Lwin, Joint Secretary General of the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce suggested overviewing all sectors related to the country’s labour industry first before making decisions regarding the selection of priorities in the project.
U Maung Maung, President of the Confederation of Trade Unions Myanmar, suggested looking into many sectors, stressing the need to take workers in the Yangon Municipal services and mining sector into consideration when forming policy.
G7 has selected Myanmar as their first country for the development programmes, focusing on several issues including the prevention of work-related accidents, insurance and compensation, rehabilitation as well as capacity building programs in collaboration with the Ministry of Labor, Immigration and Population.
The project comes as encouragement to the labour sector, said U Myo Aung, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population, adding that the ministry will consider whether the project should be implemented using the tripartite system consisting of the government, employers and employees or the bipartite system consisting of employers and employees.
To achieve success, a representative of the World Health Organisation stressed the need to collect data pertaining to worksite accidents. In response to the question, U Win Shein said that his department is lacking the capacity to evaluate worksite accidents as reports on most worksite accidents go to the Social Security Board, not the Factories and General Law Inspection Department.
When the OHS law is enacted, the ministry will also announce the norms and rules related to occupational health and safety, he added.
The release of the Occupational Safety and Health Law will be included in the 100-day plan of the new government.


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