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Health, safety, environment laws available but enforcement too weak: Junaid Makda

Health, safety, environment laws available but enforcement too weak: Junaid Makda

KARACHI: President Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI) Junaid Esmail Makda has said that some of the crucial laws on Health, Safety & Environment have been enacted since 1974, which are quite comprehensive but it was a pity that, despite these laws, the performance in both public and private organizations is poor.

Speaking as chief guest at 5th International Environment, Health & Safety Conference here in a local hotel, Junaid Makda said that there appears to be a knowledge gap among industrial managers and Health, Safety & Environment professionals regarding various laws. Hence, there was a dire need to bridge this gap by thoroughly knowing and fully understanding all relevant Acts and Rules, he stressed, adding that more than a dozen laws are there for Health, Safety and Environment but their enforcement is too weak. CEO of the Professionals Network Mehmood Tareen, CSR & CSI Activist Ateeq-ur-Rehman and other prominent personalities also spoke on the occasion.

President KCCI stressed that ensuring the health and safety of people and maintaining a healthy working environment should be a priority for all businesses. Industries in Pakistan need to ensure a safe work place for their employees, and contribute to improvements in environment. “Good environmental practice is good business practice. Businesses can enhance efficiency through environment friendly technology, by optimizing products and processes and saving energy and natural resources.”

He was of the opinion that companies in Pakistan need to invest in Environmental Health & Safety programs which involve extensive health & safety training, safety audits, incident investigation, and safety communications.

He said that safety was an aspect of business that needs to be well defined at all levels of an organization. It should be the most stressed upon factor at the annual board meetings of companies and to be the center attention for all business domains. Considerable investments need to be made, not just in physical infrastructure, but also in terms of creating an institutional architecture where health and safety are monitored at every level of the organizational hierarchy, he added.

He mentioned that the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, as a responsible corporate citizen, is playing a significant role in creating awareness and educating businesses to implement programs regarding issues of health, safety and environmental degradation.