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COVID-19 highlights the need for OHS services

PUBLISHED:09 June 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light, now more than ever, the need for Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) services. OHS has played a key role in helping employers and employees with risk reduction and assessment, said Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar, who is also Chairman and Executive Director of Jerudong Park Medical Centre (JPMC).


He said this as the guest of honour at a talk on OHS yesterday to mark World Day for Safety and Health at Work 2021. It was co-organised by JPMC; Safety, Health and Environment National Authority (SHENA); and the Ministry of Health (MoH). The Minister added, "The theme of this year acknowledges the impact that the global COVID-19 pandemic has had on our working lives and the importance of building an effective, resilient, and adaptable OHS framework."


Chief Inspector, Industry and Non-Industry Sector Jaime Rebelo, Senior Inspector (Industry) of SHENA Haji Noryasmin bin Haji Mohd Noor, and Occupational Health Physician, Occupational Health Division, MoH Dr Kyaw Naing Win delivered the talk.


During the COVID-19 pandemic, governments, employers, workers, and the general population faced unprecedented challenges in relation to the virus and the many effects it has had on the world of work. JPMC Medical Director Dr Meera Sahib Kabeer in his capacity as Chairman of OHS Committee said, "The health is defined as state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, which helps to deal successfully with the demands of their work environment, and it is the responsibility of OHS to provide it. We are fortunate to contain this virus in Brunei, thanks to the time timely action of our Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar and his team under the command of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar 'Ali Saifuddien Sa'adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam."


According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), 2011, every day, 6,300 people died as a result of occupational accidents or work-related diseases, more than 2.3 million deaths per year and 317 million accidents occur on the job annually.  Jaime Rebelo said, "As employers build and improve workplace culture and resilience, they also seek ways to address workplace stress and mental health. When addressed, employers build a resilient workforce, employees handle work stress better and develop protective factors against stress."


The World Day for Safety and Health at Work celebrated every April 28 aims to highlight the hard work of OHS committees and their contribution to promote the prevention of occupation related accidents and diseases globally. Safety and health measures at work can play crucial role in responding to any crises, protecting workers and society at large, in line with this year's theme 'Anticipate, prepare and respond to crises: Invest now in resilient OHS system'.


RTB News Perdana on Friday, 4 June 2021

Published by Borneo Bulletin on Saturday, 5 June 2021