Western Marine launches Occupational Health & Safety policy Aims to reduce preventable accidents to zero per cent by 2012

Chittagong, March 24, 2011: Bangladesh leading shipbuilding company Western Marine Shipyard Limited today (Thursday) launched Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) policy, aims at reducing preventable accidents at the workplace to zero per cent by 2012.

Md. Sakhawat Hossain, Managing Director of Western Marine said that the company would follow internationally recognized OHS programme to improve occupational health and safety measures for its employees to reduce the workplace accident to ‘zero’ per cent.

“The health and safety of workers are very important to Western Marine as we consider our employees as a family. With the proper implementation of the policy, we are confident to achieve zero percent accident in 2012,” said Md. Sakhawat Hossain while addressing the OHS progarmme at the shipyard of the company, situated at Kolagaon at Patiya.

Through introduction of an OHS program supported by the policy, Western Marine demonstrates it compliance to internationally held principles of socially and environmentally responsible business Dr. Md. Abu Taher, Director (Health) of Chittagong Division inaugurated the OHS programme as the chief guest.

Mr. Mahmudul Islam Chowdhury, President of IBFB and former Mayor of Chittagong City Corporation and Dr. Andy Thompson, an expert on OHS from Management and Occupational Medicine, South Africa, were present at the function as the special guests.

Besides, Country Director of GIZ Bangladesh, Mr. Olaf Handloegten and Workplace Learning and Productivity Advisor of ILO Bangladesh, Mr. Francis Dilip Vasant Desilva, were also present at the function as the special guests.

Addressing the function, Mr. Abu Taher said that he was very happy to see the community services of Western Marine Shipyard, contributing to health and safety of the employees as well the residents living adjacent to the shipyard.

The Ministry of Health & Family Planning is also involved in this development by providing free medicine & health care service. Mr. Abu Taher assured to continue the support.

Mr. Mahmudul Islam Chowdhury said that Western Marine Shipyard Limited made revolution in Bangladeshi ship building sector and hoped more large shipbuilding companies would emerge out in the country led by Western Marine.

Remarking on the role of private sector in development of occupational health & safety, Mr. Olaf Handloegten, Country Director, GIZ Bangladesh said that GIZ (German Development Cooperation) is supporting such development in several countries including Bangladesh, & he expressed his delight as company like Western Marine Shipyard has come ahead for implementing an Occupational Health & Safety Policy for creating safety awareness in the shipyard workforce.

Western Marine with the technical assistance of Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) has been working on an OHS programme to address safety and health related hazards in the workplace to better protect the employees.

Western Marine, the pioneer in country’s shipbuilding sector, which recently delivered two ships to its German buyer, is scheduled to deliver another 2 X 5200 DWT ice-class vessels to the same German owner by this month.

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