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September 16, 2019

Developing a culture of safety, health for workers through workplace insurance

  • The Social Security Board of the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, and Population has launched the Employment Injury Insurance (EII) Pilot Project in collaboration with the International Labour Organization. EII is being implemented in more than 170 countries.
    The pilot projects have shown the Union Government’s commitment to put in place the necessary policies and plans to help ensure occupational safety and health.
    Employment Injury Insurance was first practiced in Germany. It’s a system which compensates workmen who get injured at their place of work.
    The EII pilot project is being implemented on a trial basis in Hlinethaya and Pyigyitagun townships of Mandalay from January to December this year.
    The pilot project will ensure safety and security of workers and a decent workplace in Myanmar, where young workers are particularly exposed to workplace hazards and risks and need to be protected from them.
    In fact, our young people, the next generation of the country’s working population, enter the workforce with virtually no knowledge about occupational hazards and risks, nor any awareness about their OSH (Occupational safety and health) rights.
    Data collected during the trial period will be analyzed and will be helpful in raising awareness about the risks, and strategies will be developed to prevent accidents at the workplace, and ensure the expansion of the project to other regions and states.
    Employment Injury Insurance guarantees healthcare and compensation to insured workers when they suffer from poor health, have a baby, or, in case of death, to protect their families from the social and economic burden when the salary is lowered or suspended, or when workers are wounded in the workplace.
    Collaborative efforts need to be made by the governments, concerned departments, and employer and employee associations to bring about convenient transportation, ensure safety in the workplace, better healthcare and job security for workers, good relations between employers and employees, and dispute resolution in accordance with labour laws.
    All workplace accidents and occupational diseases are preventable. We cannot turn a blind eye to this daily toll on workers, which represents a huge cost to society. It will also hold back Myanmar’s development.
    But, the goal of building a safe and healthy generation can only be achieved through the combined efforts of many different actors, including the Government, employers’ and workers’ organizations, as well as civil society, youth organizations and importantly, young people themselves.

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