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.
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.
Make arrangements for clean and tidy enterprise: Chapter V; Section 27 (a)
Daily cleaning with germicidal medicines,
Occasional painting or white-washing,
Prevention of bad odor
Make arrangements for: Chapter V; Section 27 (b)
Adequate supply of fresh air,
Make arrangement for: Chapter V; Section 27 (c)
Removal and disposal of solid waste,
Drainage of sewage from production process
Make arrangement for: Chapter V; Section 27 (d)
Prevention of accumulation of dust, fume, vapor and other impure materials affecting health adversely
Make arrangement for: Chapter V; Section 27 (e)
Personal protection devices against noise pollution,
Provision for noise reduction
Make arrangement for: Chapter V; Section 27 (f)
Avoiding workplace congestion,
Working space – 15 Cubic Meter/Employee (Max height considered = 4 Meters)
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
Make arrangements for: Chapter V; Section 27 (h)
Separate modern toilets for male and female at convenient places
Make arrangements for: Chapter V; Section 27 (i)
Declaring non-smoking zones; partly or entirely
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
Make arrangements for: Chapter V; Section 28
Eye protection of employees and workers from possible injuries
In regards to the use of machinery, tools or equipment at workplaces in Nepalese enterprises, Occupational Health & Safety (OHS) related legal provisions provided by the Labor Act 1992 and the Labor Rules 1993 are given below in tabular form.
(Photo Source: Google)
As prescribed by the above, the enterprises in Nepal are legally bound to make the following arrangements for the health and safety of their employees or workers.