Coordinating with the FGLLID and Social partners, ILO Vision Zero Fund organized Awareness Raising Campaign about new OSH law at the three Industrial Zones

From June 25th to June 30th 2019, coordinating with Factories and General Labour Law Inspection Department (FGLLID), the Vision Zero Fund (VZF), ILO has organized an awareness raising campaign, in 3 industrial zones: Mingaladon, East Dagon and Hlaingtharyar in Yangon, targeting and audience composed of factory owners, industrial zone committee members, township government stakeholders (SSB, DoL, MoHS, DISI (MoI)), employers’ and workers’ representatives, FGLLID inspectors, supervisors, and workers. A total of 73 factories attended the various events across the 6 days, sending 33 managers, 13 supervisors, 132 workers and 26 safety officers to the events.

Press release | 26 June 2019
The campaign was successfully opened by FGLLID on the first day, talking about the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Law, which was enacted by the Myanmar parliament on March 15th, kick starting the need for the all sectors, including garments, to begin preparations to comply with regulations and by-laws that are expected to be enacted within the next 2 years.

Director General of FGLLID, Assistant Director of Ministry of Industry, Deputy Director of Social Security Board, President of Hlainghtaryar Industrial Zone and ILO Vision Zero Fund team pose for photo together with the ILO officials, trainers and consultant
Welcome remarks were given by Ms. Mariana Infante, Senior Technical Officer of the VZF program explaining the objective of the campaign in such a way to draw contents, information and opinions from a wide array of stakeholders. Then, Bernardo Contri, research consultant, presented a combination of pieces of research conducted for the VZF over the last 2 years. UMFCCI participated in an active role ensuring that manufacturing establishments can improve their OSH dynamics towards compliance with the OSH Law. U Myint Kyaw, OSH specialist (EOD) took part in the events, and presented the role that UMFCCI is going to take in the sector. Dr. Zaw Win Aung (Head of Education and Training Department), U Ye Win Tun (EC member of CTUM) discussed the opportunities and challenges stemming from the new OSH law during a panel discussion session. Catherine Vaillancourt, from the ILO – GIP Project, presented content about the project, its work in the development of OSH training curricula, as well as details about how the OSH Committees will work within the factories. Three representatives from Sustaining Competitive and Responsible Enterprises (SCORE) presented the project’s advisory and training contents and modules. Ma Hnin Phyu Phyu Aye, Manager, representative from the LIFT funded project took part in one of the training days to illustrate to factory managers the training offer of the center.

The ILO VZF team, the FGLLID Director, as well as the UMFCCI representatives, all gave presentations in which they explained to the participants the legal status of the law, its contents, the expected next steps, and what will be expected of factories once the regulation and by-laws are enacted. The key takeaways from these included:
  • The OSH Law was enacted on March 15th by the Parliament, and is now awaiting to be signed by the president.
  • Detailed regulation and by-laws will need to be developed, expectedly over the next 2 years.
  • There will need to be multiple rounds of coordination between ministries, business associations, and the FGLLID to come to the best approach to regulation design.
  • The roles and responsibilities of FGLLID has greatly increased since the enactment of the new law.
During these sharing sessions, a number of concerns was raised by the participants, especially:
  • Over the specific requirements of the law, which they are unsure about.
  • Over the timeline offered to reach compliance with the new set of requirements.
  • Over the costs they will have to incur into to reach compliance.
The answer, from multiple presenters, was to reassure participant that the by-laws and regulations would be developed over time and in a cooperative manner, and that they would not be effective immediately, therefore giving factories time to understand the requirements and make the necessary adjustments.

The ILO consultant presented the combined results of three different studies conducted by the VZF over the last two years, to illustrate:
  • The overall OSH dynamics and stakeholders in the Myanmar garment sector.
  • An OSH assessment conducted by analyzing factory level data from the SMART Myanmar program, from an international brand sourcing in Myanmar, and from direct factory observations conducted by the ILO research team in September 2018.
  • An analysis of a set of business cases for OSH investments, based on secondary research of examples from around the world. The goal was to show workers and factories that certain OSH investment can have a return both from a health and safety perspective, as well as from a business perspective.
Presenting by Andrew Christian
Andrew Christian, visiting from Geneva, conducted multiple series of collaborative exercises with participating factory workers and supervisors, to walk them through a variety of topics, including:
  • What is an OSH Risk Assessment?
  • What is the difference between a hazard and a risk?
  • What is the best way to prevent an accident?
  • In which situations is it ok to provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and when is instead possible to remove the risk altogether?
  • How do can workers identify a risk at their station?
  • How can everyone take part in OSH Assessment and risk prevention?
Discussing by a lady
The training was closed by distribution of awareness raising knowledge materials such as posters, pamphlets and handbooks in both Myanmar and English languages to all participants.