Saudi Arabia has been a hub for labor workforce coming from all around the world. During the early 1980s, they had attracted workers to help their growing economy which resulted in increasing their standard of living. With this, the government imposed great importance to labor protection and had strict laws against exploitation. The government is based on Islamic Shariah Laws which protect the rights of the workforce. Recently, several companies in Riyadh, Dammam, and Jeddah which have been heavily attracting labor workforce have been inspected by the Ministry of Labor along with the General Organization for Social Insurance to evaluate their current health and safety measures are at par as stated by the law.[irp]
The undersecretary of inspections and development of the labor environment, Abdullah Abu Thunyan claims that according to Article 204, Saudi Arabia’s Labor Law states that the list of inspectors can range from chemists, doctors, engineers and specialists in this field and violators can be fined up to SR25,000 for each violation of the safety and security laws imposed for the labor. He also stated that strict measures should be taken by companies for their employee safety and security and protects them from diseases and any form of occupational hazards and the ministry publicly declared that any complaints can be registered at 19911.
Approximately 6300 people die every day around the world due to work place diseases or occupational accidents which are 2.3 million deaths per year. Extended absences from work are caused by the accidents which occur on the job which has been estimated to 317 million annually. What companies do not realize is that by abiding with the safety and security measures, they are reducing their long term costs and reduction in efficiency and productivity.
Apart from the company perspective, the employee also faces long term disabilities, high insurance premium, early retirements and frequent absenteeism. However, many of these tragedies can be prevented by implementing the basic safety and security measures as stated by the Labor Law.
Not only in Saudi Arabia but even in a developing country like Pakistan the Occupational Health and Safety Policy was drafted for the first time ever by the Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan which enforced penalties when violating any health and safety standards. They have set straight penalties for all the violators; anyone who violates the safety standard will be fined Rs 100,000 along with one year of imprisonment for first-time offenders. The severity of the penalty keeps increasing with the severity of the violation.[irp]
In countries like the United States, they place high value for off the job safety too and include it in their health and safety laws for companies to abide by. Broadly, the occupational safety and health are concerned with the health, safety, and welfare of the employees who are legally working for the company. Several programs have been designed to teach the companies of the basic health and safety rules.
Source: Arab News