A two day session at PC Bhurban where representatives from Federal Government, Provinces, AJK, Gilgit-Baltistan, Islamabad capital territory, academia and consultants were invited. Representatives from employers and employees federations were also there being committee members by default. Ambassador of Netherlands was the guest speaker who are funding the ILO activities. Sr Joint Secretary, ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource also attended. Director Labor Islamabad was there who has registered the society. Purpose was to bring together the experience and expertise of ILO’s tripartite constituents and other stake holders to discuss ways of strengthening OSH legislation and its implementation in Pakistan. ILO team with their country director was there to assist delegates and facilitate discussions.
Team from Sindh dominated and shared their experiences and future plans. Punjab team came prepared and participated well during discussions. KPK team was fully energized and motivated for taking required steps to develop legislation. They will share draft act with us for input like we provided in Punjab. Participation from Baluchistan was poor and attended by one person to show presence only. Secretary labor was committed and could not come. Team from Azad Jammu Kashmir (AJK) took full interest during discussions and showed their intention to do the needful. None came from Gilgit-Baltistan.
OHS law has been approved in Sindh which does not cover Mines & Mineral therefore Mines Act will remain applicable. Draft bill submitted for approval in Punjab. Work already in progress in KPK and Baluchistan. Regulating the informal industrial sector was highlighted. Compliance of standards and quality assurance was discussed for export industry products. Role of academia, private consultants and media was also discussed for implementation of OHS legislation. There was consensus on one OHS act to avoid overlaps, duplication and to reduce administrative expenses. Inspectors and officials hired shall be qualified having OHS certifications and back ground.
Our point of view was well understood to have federal legislation for large organizations including WAPDA, Railways, Airline, Maritime, FWO, NHA as well as defense organizations which are scattered in various and may not be regulated under provinces. Federal Government should have model OSH act like practiced globally and may empower provinces to enforce the act. Federal Tripartite Consultation Committee is already under consideration in addition to Provincial Tripartite Consultation Committees which are being formed. Efforts of ASSE were shared with participants including contact with the Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms in view of Vision 2025 and ways of regulating construction of CPEC projects. Professional input provided to academia including NUST was shared. Initiative of Women in safety group was shared to built better image of society
Assistance from ASSE team was offered which was warmly welcomed. Hope we shall be able to establish close work relations with stake holders in OHS legislation process and their effective implementation. ASSE Pakistan team should be ready to contribute during the process. Most of the Provincial and Federal Government officials have no professional background in OHS therefore they may contact us for professional inputs and for training. This obviously is going to generate lot of jobs in our profession in times to come.