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Brunei
Tuesday, August 9, 2022
24 C
Brunei
Tuesday, August 9, 2022
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    SHENA working on medical regulations for workers

    The Safety, Health and Environment National Authority (SHENA), as the regulator for workplace safety and health with the support of the Ministry of Health (MoH), is currently drafting the Medical Examination Regulations, which will aid the enforcement of suitable medical examinations being carried out routinely to ensure workers receive the right level of medical support as well as compliance by employers.

    This was said by former Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office Dato Seri Setia Haji Awang Abdul Mokti bin Haji Mohd Daud at a on-and-a-half day workshop titled “To Review Fitness To Work Practices And Opportunities For Alignment – Occupational Health Control In The Workplace And Worker Readiness” during the ASEAN Occupational Safety and Health Network (ASEAN-OSHNET) hosted by SHENA from June 7 to 8 at the Design and Technology building and virtually.

    The former minister officiated the workshop and delivered opening remarks, during which he called for a more thorough examination of workers’ fitness to work not just at the commencement of employment but also at regular pre-determined intervals subject to the nature of work and exposed risks.

    Globally, fatalities due to work-related diseases are estimated to be higher than fatalities due to occupational accidents.

    The International Labour Organization (ILO) estimated that 6,500 people die from work-related diseases while 1,000 people from workplace accidents daily and recommended that this problem call for a multidisciplinary effort to tackle the “invisibility” of occupational diseases with active participation of workers and their employers, governments and Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) professionals.

    Former Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office Dato Seri Setia Haji Awang Abdul Mokti bin Haji Mohd Daud speaks during the workshop. PHOTO: SHENA

    Diagnosis of occupational diseases requires specific medical knowledge and experience, improved reporting mechanisms as well as empowerment of workers in their access to information and compensation.

    Among the workshop objectives were to identify and consider a list of common medical tests and examinations relevant to different trades in the industry through sharing of experience and practices across ASEAN member nations on job fit assessments and medical surveillance programmes that ensure regulatory compliance and consistency with industry best practice.

    The workshop also aimed to support the realisation of the ASEAN-OSHNET Work Plan 2021-2025 under the theme “Strengthen Occupational Health in the Workplace” which contributes to execution of the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC) Blueprint 2025’s Strategic Measures to support accelerated implementation among ASEAN member nations to extend, coverage, accessibility, availability, comprehensiveness, quality, equality, affordability and sustainability of social services and social protection.

    Presentations were also made by various ASEAN member nations, particularly of interest was a presentation from Brunei Darussalam which included opportunities for further improvement in occupational health and fitness to work practices through increased number of health promotion programmes across various platforms as well as proposal for a formal local training programme for competency-building.

    The workshop was attended by agencies and representatives from ASEAN member states including the participation of relevant organisations within Brunei Darussalam namely the MoH, Labour Department, Fire and Rescue Department, Authority for Building Control and Construction Industry, Petroleum Authority of Brunei Darussalam, Darussalam Enterprise (DARe), Brunei Institution of Surveyors, Engineers and Architects (PUJA), Brunei Shell Petroleum Company Sdn Bhd and Jerudong Park Medical Centre.

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