MCRB and Australian Chamber of Commerce Submit Comments on Draft ‘OSH’ Law
The Responsible Investment Working Group (RIWG) of AustCham Myanmar, co-chaired by MCRB, has submitted bilingual comments on the draft law on Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) which is currently with the Hluttaw/Parliament for consideration.
The RIWG, which has discussed Health and Safety as part of its agenda on responsible business in Myanmar, welcomes and fully agrees on the need for an Occupational Safety and Health Law covering all sectors. However it has concerns that many of the provisions are unclear and there are overlapping and ambiguous definitions and requirements. The Working Group’s comments and recommendations are therefore intended to help improve the provisions of the Draft Law, based on the Group’s expertise in occupational health and safety issues in Myanmar and around the world.
the proposed requirement for approvals from the Director-General prior to establishing a business or undertaking various steps such as constructing a new building or installing a machine, creates additional administrative burden and may duplicate other approval processes such as by the Construction Ministry or through the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process:
ambiguous reporting relationship between Health and Safety Officers and the Ministry appears to undermine the need to reinforce that the highest levels of company management must be directly responsible for establishing a safety culture and must be held accountable for it:
the RIWG believes that the Draft Law needs to adopt more of a risk-based approach, in which organisations, relevant authorities and workers identify, assess and understand occupational health and safety risks to which they are exposed to, take mitigation measures in accordance with the level of risk and are held accountable for the outcome.
The Burmese version of the draft Law is available here, together with an unofficial English translation (NB This translation is provided for ease of reference but is under review; please check back soon for an updated version).