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SHENA Urges Construction Companies to Comply with Workplace Safety Health Laws

PUBLISHED:29 October 2019

The occurrences of three fatalities in September 2019 in the construction industry in Brunei Darussalam which could have easily been prevented truly reflected the lack of responsibility on the employers’ part to ensure a safe workplace and safe systems of work for their employees.

In all three fatalities, the main concerns identified by the Safety, Health and Environment National Authority (SHENA) are failures to immediately report the incident to SHENA; inadequate and incompetent supervision onsite; lack of hazard awareness and management on the site; lack of Work at Height control measures; inadequate controls and use of fit for purpose Personal Protective Equipment (PPE); and inadequate proper planning and risk assessment pertaining to material handling.

SHENA urged persons involved in any construction related activities to ensure all their personnel are immediately provided with a suitable safety induction which include tool box meetings covering hazards onsite and procedures to be followed to ensure the safety of the workplace; ensure that a relevant hazard identification and risk assessment is undertaken on the worksite and suitable controls are implemented; ensure that all personnel with critical tasks on the worksite are given suitable training from an authorised training provider; ensure that all personnel on the worksite are provided with suitable Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), which includes but is not limited to eye protection (safety glasses), fall from height protection (safety harness), foot protection (safety shoes), hand protection (safety gloves), head protection (hard hat), hearing protection (ear plugs) and respiratory protection (dust mask or respirator); ensure equipment and machinery needed for safe working to be clearly identified and available before work commences; ensure all personnel are able to identify, manage and address any safety concerns in the event there is a diversion in the work methodology; ensure activity involving any work at height is properly planned, supervised and carried out in a safe manner; and ensure the site supervisors are able to identify, manage and address any potential safety concerns that may arise, have the authority to stop and intervene any unsafe practices/acts and/or unsafe situations onsite.

Attention is directed to Section 12 of the Workplace Safety and Health Order, 2009 which places a duty on every employer to take, so far as reasonably practicable, such measures as are necessary to ensure the safety and health of his employees at work. Such duty extends to the safety and health of persons (not being his employees) who may be affected by any undertaking carried on by him at the workplace.

As part of its Outreach Programme on November 6, 2019, SHENA has invited construction companies to an Industry HSE Forum at the Ministry of Development Training Centre, with the objective to communicate the construction safety issues and ensure compliance with the laws.

In the event of any significant accident on worksite, the person in charge is required to report the matter immediately to SHENA. The SHENA Duty Phone (24/7) number is 7332200 and an Initial Incident Notification report can be found on the SHENA website, which should be submitted to iin@shena.gov.bn. For general enquires please contact SHENA via info@shena.gov.bn