Under the Ministry of Labour, the Labour Department, through its Occupational Safety and Health Section, has responsibility for the administration of statutory provisions and the promotion of ‘best practice’ towards achieving acceptable working conditions. The Department pursues this goal by working with employers and workers through a range of safety programmes which include:
- Routine Factory Inspections
- Accident Investigations
- Investigation of Complaints
- Consultancy Services
- Public Awareness & Training
ROUTINE WORKPLACE INSPECTIONS
As prescribed under the Safety and Health at Work (SHAW) Act, Cap 356, random, unannounced visits are made to workplaces. The inspection is done to assess working conditions and determine compliance with this legislation. For further information on routine inspections, please click here.
Under the Accident and Occupational Diseases (Notification) Act, Cap. 338, all employers are required to notify the Chief Labour Officer about any accident arising from employment which result in injury to employees, causing them to be away from their normal duties for more than 3 days. Further investigation is then conducted by the Labour Department to determine the causes of the accident and to ensure that measures are implemented to prevent any recurrence of such accidents.
It is also required under Section 5 of this Act that the employer or medical practitioner notify the Chief Labour Officer of any suspected case of Occupational Disease.
For further information on industrial accidents, please CLICK HERE.
The Labour Department Act, Cap. 23, and Safety and Health at Work Act, Cap 356, mandate the Labour Department to investigate all complaints made to the Chief Labour Officer, whether by an employer or employee. Confidentiality is guaranteed.
Under the The SHAW Act, it is an offence to penalise an employee because he/she requests a visit from the Labour Department.
The expertise of the OSH Section is available to any employer or employee through the Labour Department’s consultation services, which can be sought on general or specific matters including:
- Plant layout
- The introduction of new processes
- The introduction of new equipment or hazardous substances
- The formulation of safety and health management systems
- Workplace audits
PUBLIC AWARENESS & TRAINING
Fully informed employers and employees are crucial to the achievement of the Labour Department’s mission of promoting and maintaining high occupational safety and health standards. The Inspectorate is committed to heightening the awareness of all employers and workers through formal training programs. These programmes are available to the following:
- Workplaces of all categories
- Trade unions and employer organisations
- Educational and training institutions
- Safety committees
- General public