MCRB with the support of mobile operators Telenor and Ooredoo and the participation of the Factories and General Labour Laws Inspection Department (FGLLID) of the Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population (MOLIP), facilitated a peer-to-peer workshop on 7 October 2016 for mobile network operators and tier 1 and tier 2 subcontractors, and consultants.
Health and Safety on Telecom Sites in Myanmar
• Extensive building of Telecommunications Tower sites in Myanmar
• Resulting in more than seven thousand throughout all regions (7000+)
Created a high risk environment for the safety of the workforce required to
implement the construction of these sites.
Approximate number of workers used since project began:(not counting office
• 70,000 casual workers (usually provided locally at at each site)
• 2500 transit fixed employees (Tower Company and Subcon own workforce)
• 1500 Tower Erectors
This resulted in an urgent requirement for providing Health and Safety Awareness
Difficulties in ensuring Health and Safety
There were several things identified which were the main cause of dificulties:
• Numbers of inexperienced workers used on sites
• HSE awareness unknown to most workforce
• New work team on almost every site
• Not a HSE culture in Myanmar
• Remoteness of sites
• Cost of safety equipment
• Rollout speed
• Expectations high for existing workforce
• Language barriers
• Compliance because of ignorance
Some of these are still with us, in some way or form and continue to make
Ways implemented to improve Health and Safety
Several systems and ideas have been implemented to try and address these
difficulties, such as:
• Regular HSE awareness training given to workforce in all regions
• Training in Risk assessment and identification of possible problems
• Subcontractors made aware of contractual HSE obligations
• Regular checks for compliance
• Suitable penalties for non-compliance
• Incentives for achievement in compliance
The above is showing some overall improvement.
But more can be done and must continue to be so.
Way forward regarding Health and Safety
Ideas and suggestions for moving forward with creating a better understanding and
awareness of Health and Safety are:
• Governmental regulations and legislation implemented to enforce businesses to
comply with HSE in the workplace.
• HSE awareness training at diploma and degree level incorporated into existing
• Continuous company training of staff in HSE awareness
• Suitable governmental penalties for non-compliance of regulations by
• Controlled costs for safety equipment
• All tenders to incorporate HSE as integral part of application
• Specialised training centres for businesses to use to train employees in HSE.
Some of the above, are already in place either in full or in part, but if all fully
implemented, would move the people of Myanmar towards a more positive ‘Safety
Culture’ which would ensure a much safer workplace for all.