Global Threats of Climate Change: Nepalese Context

climate change(Photo Source: Google)

Verisk Maplecroft, a global risks analytics and research organization, published a Climate Change Vulnerability Index (CCVI) in 2010, ranking Nepal as the fourth most vulnerable country to the impacts of climate change. Recent estimates show that Nepal, in the past few years, has already been facing an annual economic loss of 1.5 to 2% of GDP due to climate change events. One may argue climate change to be a natural phenomenon but environmental and climate researchers think otherwise.

Air, water and soil are being polluted left and right. Many developed and industrialized nations are heavily emitting greenhouse gases day and night. Businesses are not performing enough for environmental good and rather seem busy lobbying against it. Very little is being done to manage ever growing garbage, pollution and toxic wastes. This in turn is causing environmental degradation, global warming, climate change and chronic health hazards around the world.         

 Environmental degradation along with increased rate of global warming gave rise to climate change, an accumulated result of human activities in just over the last few centuries. Although it may not be local, direct or prompt but the climate change effects are showing up in global scale, as weather patterns are changing all over the planet, several species are going extinct, ozone layer is depleting, earth’s temperature is rising, glaciers and polar ice caps are melting rapidly and sea level is rising faster than ever before. 

According to a report, submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC), the mean annual temperature projections for Nepal are 1.3-3.8 degree Celsius by the 2060s and 1.8-5.8 degree Celsius by the 2090s. Meanwhile, the World Bank report indicates that the mean annual temperature of the entire globe is projected to increase by 1 to 5 degree Celsius by the end of this century, placing us towards the higher end of the projected spectrum globally.

Nepal’s topography and socio-economic conditions make it even more vulnerable to climate change induced disasters. The negative impacts of climate change in Nepal have been rapidly translating into reduced annual precipitation, decrease in Himalayan ice reserve, receding glaciers, drying up of water sources, rapid formation of glacial lakes, erratic rainfall pattern, increased threats to run-of-river hydroelectricity projects, etc. As a result, increased risk of disasters, in the form of more frequent avalanches, floods, landslides, droughts, forest fires, epidemics, etc., cannot be ignored anymore.

If we fail to handle them tactfully and in a timely manner, climate change driven disasters and its widespread economic impacts certainly paint a rather bleak future for Nepal, as agriculture, hydroelectricity and water-induced disasters are going to be of greatest concern for us in coming days.    

Although major proclamations such as, “Climate change is for real” and “Urgent risk mitigation actions are indispensable” are quite consistent globally, compelling concrete actions are largely missing or are unable to produce definitive results.

Due to the global nature of the crisis, it is impossible to alleviate the problem by any one nation, organization or a certain group. Climate change threat demands coordinated participation and genuine collaborative efforts of every possible stakeholder to rescue the planet, we call home.

Also Read:

(Part II) (2 of 2) Construction Focus Four: Struck-By Hazards

(Part II) (1 of 2) Construction Focus Four: Struck-By Hazards

(Part I) (1 of 2) Construction Focus Four: Fall Hazards

(Part I) (2 of 2) Construction Focus Four: Fall Hazards

Fire Prevention and Fire Protection – Air Pollution in Kathmandu – Construction PPE – Carbon Monoxide poisoning – Electrical Safety – Fall Protection in General Industry– Fearsome 4 of Construction Safety – Fall Restrain System Vs. Fall Arrest System – Respiratory Protection – Portable Ladder Safety – Confined Space Entry – Initiating First Aid/CPR – Are you too busy… – If you have $86,400 in your account… – Safety professionals have job prospects as Insurance Risk Surveyor or Loss Assessor

 * * * *

Construction Safety Legal Provisions Relating to Occupational Health & Safety (OHS) within construction businesses in Nepal

Reconstruction Nepal(Photo Source: Google)

In relation to the Safety of Construction Workers in Nepal, OHS legal provisions, provided by the Labor Act 1992, are given below. As prescribed by the above, the construction business enterprises or proprietors in Nepal are legally bound to make the following arrangements for the health and safety of their workers.

Construction Safety Legal Provisions - Labor Act 1992 - Nepal

NOTE: The New Labour Act, 2074 (2017 AD): Occupational Health & Safety (OHS) related provisions

Load Carrying Legal Provisions relating to OHS 

Fire Safety Legal Provisions relating to OHS 

Accident/Disease Notification & Accident Investigation Legal Provisions relating to OHS 

OHS legal provisions of handling machinery tools or equipment at workplace

Nepal National Building Code (NBC: 1994): Construction Safety and Fire Safety related provisions for Workers’ Health & Safety

Also Read:

(Part II) (2 of 2) Construction Focus Four: Struck-By Hazards

(Part II) (1 of 2) Construction Focus Four: Struck-By Hazards

(Part I) (1 of 2) Construction Focus Four: Fall Hazards

(Part I) (2 of 2) Construction Focus Four: Fall Hazards

Fire Prevention and Fire Protection – Air Pollution in Kathmandu – Construction PPE – Carbon Monoxide poisoning – Electrical Safety – Fall Protection in General Industry– Fearsome 4 of Construction Safety – Fall Restrain System Vs. Fall Arrest System – Respiratory Protection – Portable Ladder Safety – Confined Space Entry – Initiating First Aid/CPR – Are you too busy… – If you have $86,400 in your account… – Safety professionals have job prospects as Insurance Risk Surveyor or Loss Assessor

* * * *

General Federation of Nepalese Trade Unions (GEFONT): Occupational Health & Safety (OHS) related legal provisions in Nepal

workers
(Photo Source: Google)

Established in 1989, the General Federation of Nepalese Trade Unions (GEFONT), with 27 affiliated union-members nationwide, works as an umbrella organization for various trade unions in the field of agriculture, industry and service sectors.

In 2007, with an effort to examine the issues of occupational safety and health through social dialogues with industrial stakeholders in the country, GEFONT published its results of surveyed data and focus group discussions conducted in 159 enterprises. Demands for safe drinking water, clean toilet facilities and protective safety equipment were at the top of the list. This is unfortunate in the sense that the Nepalese workers are still struggling with their basic labor rights, but at the same time the current conditions clearly reveal the stark reality of the country’s state of OHS, lingering at its primitive stage.   

In the same document, GEFONT also provided a list of OHS related legal provisions to be followed by the management of concerned organizations. Although the legal provisions are far from adequacy and they do not include any specific benchmark or standards, it provided a general framework and guideline for enterprises to maintain a clean, safe and healthy work environment.

Following are the legal provisions and their corresponding Labor Act 1992, relating to occupational health and safety of employees or workers, to be managed by the enterprises in Nepal.

  1. Make arrangements for clean and tidy enterprise: Chapter V; Section 27 (a)
  • Daily cleaning with germicidal medicines,
  • Proper drainage,
  • Occasional painting or white-washing,
  • Prevention of bad odor

 

  1. Make arrangements for: Chapter V; Section 27 (b)
  • Adequate supply of fresh air,
  • Adequate light,
  • Proper temperature

 

  1. Make arrangement for: Chapter V; Section 27 (c)
  • Removal and disposal of solid waste,
  • Drainage of sewage from production process

 

  1. Make arrangement for: Chapter V; Section 27 (d)
  • Prevention of accumulation of dust, fume, vapor and other impure materials affecting health adversely

 

  1. Make arrangement for: Chapter V; Section 27 (e)
  • Personal protection devices against noise pollution,
  • Provision for noise reduction

 

  1. Make arrangement for: Chapter V; Section 27 (f)
  • Avoiding workplace congestion,
  • Working space – 15 Cubic Meter/Employee (Max height considered = 4 Meters)

 

  1. Make arrangement for: Chapter V; Section 27 (g)
  • Supply of potable water, sufficient water near chemical substances used,
  • Water for emergency purposes, such as fire extinguishing, washing or cleaning

 

  1. Make arrangements for: Chapter V; Section 27 (h)
  • Separate modern toilets for male and female at convenient places

 

  1. Make arrangements for: Chapter V; Section 27 (i)
  • Declaring non-smoking zones; partly or entirely

 

  1. Make arrangements for: Chapter V; Section 27 (j)
  • Conducting yearly health check-ups for workers and employees in enterprises where nature of work is likely to affect the health adversely

 

  1. Make arrangements for: Chapter V; Section 28
  • Eye protection of employees and workers from possible injuries

 

  1. Make arrangements for: Chapter V; Section 30

 

  1. Make arrangements for: Chapter V; Section 31
  • Strong fences around energy-operated hazardous machines, instruments and equipment,
  • Well-trained employees or workers for maintenance jobs on such machines

 

  1. Make arrangements for: Chapter V; Section 32

 

NOTE: The New Labour Act, 2074 (2017 AD): Occupational Health & Safety (OHS) related provisions

* * * *

Nepal National Building Code (NBC: 1994): Construction Safety and Fire Safety related provisions for Workers’ Health & Safety

Construction Safety Legal Provisions Relating to Occupational Health & Safety (OHS) within construction businesses in Nepal

Fire Safety Legal Provisions Relating to Occupational Health & Safety (OHS) in Nepal

Also Read:

(Part II) (2 of 2) Construction Focus Four: Struck-By Hazards

(Part II) (1 of 2) Construction Focus Four: Struck-By Hazards

(Part I) (1 of 2) Construction Focus Four: Fall Hazards

(Part I) (2 of 2) Construction Focus Four: Fall Hazards

Fire Prevention and Fire Protection – Air Pollution in Kathmandu – Construction PPE – Carbon Monoxide poisoning – Electrical Safety – Fall Protection in General Industry– Fearsome 4 of Construction Safety – Fall Restrain System Vs. Fall Arrest System – Respiratory Protection – Portable Ladder Safety – Confined Space Entry – Initiating First Aid/CPR – Are you too busy… – If you have $86,400 in your account… – Safety professionals have job prospects as Insurance Risk Surveyor or Loss Assessor