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MYANMAR: First Occupational Safety and Health Law Enacted

Domestic and overseas companies, including joint ventures, now all fall within the remit of the country’s first Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Law, which was recently passed by the country’s parliament. This will see a new tripartite National OSH Council, comprising representatives of the country’s work force, employers and the government, set up to oversee work place safety. In addition, employers have been mandated to set up OSH Committees within their establishments to ensure occupational safety for their workers and to help prevent industrial accidents.

Prior to the enactment of the new law, Myanmar lacked legally-enforceable occupational health and safety standards, with companies normally advised to follow IFC Performance Standards and World Bank Group Environmental, Health and Safety Guidelines. While the new law has been welcomed by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), its coverage and scope has yet to be clearly defined. The exact health and safety standards are expected to be clarified in the coming months once follow-up legislation, including by-laws and implementing regulations, have been issued.

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