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28 employers, employees in three dzongkhags fined

After inspection of the remaining dzongkhags in the east, it moves into the gewogs
Workplace Safety More than 28 employers and just as many employees in three eastern dzongkhags have been fined more than Nu 175,000 for failure to adopt safety measures at their workplaces.

Regional employment and labour office officials in Trashigang had chanced on them during their inspection to the three dzongkhags of Lhuentse, Mongar and Trashigang.

The inspection comes after labour and human resources ministry issued a circular in September to adopt safety culture at workplaces as prescribed in labour and employment act 2007 from October 1.

Regional employment and labour’s acting regional director Sonam Dendup said owners and workers in the construction sector in the east were found in violation of safety rules and regulations prescribed in the labour Act, 2007 even after repeated circulars, notifications and several sensitisation workshops.

The ministry’s stringent implementation of safety rules and regulation comes after noticing high rates of work-related injuries in the country.

“It’s important both employers and employees understand that use of safety gears would actually enhance their own safety and productivity,” Sonam Dendup said.

Compliance with safety rules, he said, would also save government from indirect costs like health and high death compensations.

“Violators of the safety rules will be taken to court if penalties imposed on them are not paid within 15 days from the date of issue of the penalty memo,” he said.

Meanwhile, violators of the rules acknowledged their indifference to implementing safety rules.

Karsang in Trashigang who was fined Nu 9,000 said he was returning from Phuentsholing with safety gears for his employees.

“I couldn’t make it available last time because I had no money to buy the protective equipment,” Karsang said.

Furniture house owner, Tshewang Dorji from Rangjung, who was also fined Nu 9,000, said such initiatives were actually good for both employers’ and employees’ safety.

He said they were soon going to inspect construction sites in Trashiyangtse municipal area.

For first time violators, it was Nu 9,000 fine to employers who failed to provide the necessary safety gears or getting them to use it, while it was Nu 500 to workers if found not using safety gear despite being provided with one.

Sonam Dendup said the fine doubled if employers failed to comply with the rules for the second time and similarly, employees caught a second time without safety gears would be fined Nu 1,000.

The third time around and employers failing to conform to safety rules at workplaces would be barred from employing workers, while employees breaching the same were liable to lose work permits through revocation.

Following inspection of the remaining dzongkhags of Trashiyangtse and Wamrong, the regional office is set for all 45 gewogs in the east.

By Tempa Wangdi

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