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CORPORATE OHS LIMITED

Launch of Occupational Safety and Health Sharjah (OSHJ) – Positive Health and Safety change for Sharjah Emirate

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As many of you may have seen in the press, the 28th September 2022 was a monumental day for Occupational Safety and Health in the Emirate of Sharjah.

The International Governent Communication Forum held at Sharjah Expo Centre saw the launch of the OSHJ system – the first Occupational Safety and Health statutory framework in Sharjahs history. Supported by Executive Council Resolution No 15 of 2021.

Corporate OHS were proud to have been the Health and Safety Consultants chosen by Sharjah Government to partner with them to develop the system from scratch. Quite some feat considering it will  be applicable to over 60,000 entities !

What is OSHJ ?

OSHJ is a mandatory statutory framework. The OSHJ system is now the governing Occupational Safety and Health system in the Emirate of Sharjah. It co-exists alongside all existing Federal level health and safety laws.

It applies to all entities who are registered in, and/or operate in Sharjah. Governmental, semi-Governmental, private and freezone alike. It looks to assess and control occupational health and safety risks and create sustainable safe and healthy workplaces. Thus ensuring the health and safety of employees, contractors, students and visitors to Sharjah.

General Health and Safety law in the UAE

The health and safety legal framework in the UAE is multi-level. It is very important that companies are aware of the all the current health and safety Federal and Emirate specific laws in order to ensure they are compliant. Not understanding health and safety laws may leave a company exposed and liable to civil and/or criminal prosecutions. Notwithstanding the considerable possible reputational and contractual damage, the fallout of which could lead to severe financial losses.

Let’s look at UAE Federal level first….

The health and safety legal regime is mainly derived from the recently updated Labour Law No. 33 of 2021 which is applicable to all employees working in all Emirates in the UAE, save for a few specific carve outs. This is supplemented by various Ministerial Decisions which mention health and safety. Examples include;

  • Article 13 of Labour Law No. 33 of 2021 states that periodic assessments ie. Risk assessments are carried out on workplaces and working activities. It further mandates that necessary means of protection are provided by the employer; this could mean provision of PPE, development of safe operating procedures, training etc.
  • Article 4 of Ministerial Decision No. 32/1982 ensures that a trained First Aider is available to provide first aid assistance
  • Article 24 of Ministerial Decision No. 32/1982 mandates reporting to the Ministry of Labour any incident at work resulting in an employee’s death, involves fire or explosion, or which renders an employee unable to attend work for three consecutive days or more
  • Article 5 of Ministerial Decision No. 32/1982 and Article 2 of Ministerial Decision No. 27/1/1981 ensure workplaces are kept clean, ventilated, illuminated, have provision of rest and eating areas, potable water and toilet facilities
  • Article 26 of Ministerial Decision No. 32/1982 concerns industrial facilities with more than 150 employees. These are required to employ a full time Safety Officer

What are an Employers’ General Obligations as regards Health and Safety at Federal Level ?

A company’s general health and safety obligations include:

  • Display health and safety requirements clearly on site in both Arabic and any other language understandable by the employees

The company’s in house HSE Manager, or an HSE Consultancy such as Corporate OHS, would:

  • Work with employees to undertake risk assessments; identifying all significant hazards, evaluating these hazards and recommending adequate control measures
  • Develop safe systems of work and standard operating procedures to control specific work activities
  • Develop a reporting mechanism to address health and safety issues raised by employees
  • Develop emergency procedures, train and practice them. Ensuring that if an emergency did occur, then there was a response plan in place for workers to follow
  • Train employees on health and safety; induction training and/or training on specific areas, particularly of high risk

Moving onto OSHJ Occupational Safety and Health Sharjah

Lets now move on to the new Emirate specific law. If you are a company registered in, or operating in, the Emirate of Sharjah, then  the OSHJ system is good news for you !  Co-existing alongside the main aim of protecting the health and safety of employees, the system further seeks to protect companies. Aiding sustainable business, mitigating any potential for reputational damage and assisting with the improvement of productivity.

The system takes into account the vast array of different activities and industries operating in Sharjah. It will be managed electronically, making it the first in the Gulf Cooperation Council region.

Registration is free and straightforward. The system will ask for details such as; trade licence, owners details, activities undertaken by the company and other details relevant to profiling the health and safety risk of the company such as; staff accommodation, transportation, use of Contractors etc. The company will then be evaluated, classified and informed of the requirements that they must meet.

If you are interested in knowing more about how the OSHJ system will affect your business, contact the experts at Corporate OHS, or, look out for our Blog published next month which will give further details.

 

Corporate OHS is a UAE based Health and Safety Consultancy whose HSE Consultants offer expert resources and superior performance to give you greater results.

We specialize in creating cost effective, user friendly solutions aligned to your operations and budget.

Our range of health and safety consultancy services includes;

  • Flexible monthly support packages giving access to HSE services without the burden of permanent costs
  • Long term or project based HSE outsourcing
  • Risk and fire risk assessments
  • Hazard identification and control measure implementation
  • Gap Analysis and audits
  • HSE legal compliance reviews and assistance
  • HSE management system development, implementation and improvement including locally compliant systems such as Abu Dhabi OSHAD, Sharjah OSHJ and/or accredited systems such as ISO 45001, ISO 14001, ISO 9001 and ISO 50001
  • Accident investigations
  • Business continuity and crisis management

To find out more about our services, please visit our website www.corporateohs.com, send an email to enquiries@corporateohs.com or call  Caroline Savage on 052 566 0949

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