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Brunei Darussalam

Health and Safety Standards

Explore workplace health and safety laws in Brunei Darussalam

Health and safety laws

In Brunei Darussalam, workers' health, safety, and welfare are prioritized through a comprehensive legal framework. The primary pieces of legislation governing these aspects are the Workplace Safety and Health Order, 2009 and the Workplace Safety and Health (General Provisions) Regulations, 2014.

The Workplace Safety and Health Order, 2009 establishes broad health and safety obligations for employers, employees, and others in the workplace. Key provisions include risk assessment, safe work practices, provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and accident and incident reporting.

The Workplace Safety and Health (General Provisions) Regulations, 2014 expand on the requirements of the Workplace Safety and Health Order, 2009, by addressing specific matters like first aid facilities, fire safety, and noise control.

Key Provisions of Brunei's Health and Safety Laws

Brunei's health and safety laws focus on crucial areas such as hazard control and risk management, provision of information, training, and supervision, consultation and worker participation, and specific safety and health requirements. The regulations address details on various aspects like workplace hygiene, handling of hazardous substances, machine safety, construction safety, and more.

Enforcement and Penalties

The Commissioner for Workplace Safety and Health plays a central role in enforcing workplace safety and health regulations in Brunei Darussalam. Inspectors can conduct workplace inspections, issue improvement notices, and initiate legal proceedings against non-compliant employers. Penalties for violating health and safety laws can include fines or imprisonment.

This guide provides a high-level overview of Brunei Darussalam's health and safety laws. For detailed and up-to-date information, it's crucial to refer directly to the Workplace Safety and Health Order, 2009, the Workplace Safety and Health (General Provisions) Regulations, 2014, and any other relevant legislation.

Occupational health and safety

In Brunei Darussalam, there is a strong emphasis on promoting and maintaining high occupational health and safety (OHS) standards within its workforce. The country has implemented a variety of practices to ensure worker well-being.

Regulatory Framework

The Workplace Safety and Health Order 2009 and its associated regulations establish the legal foundation for OHS in Brunei. These regulations set benchmarks for several aspects of workplace safety and health, including:

  • Workplace Environment: Regulations address factors such as ventilation, lighting, noise control, and overall workplace sanitation.
  • Chemical Safety: Standards for handling, storage, labeling, and disposal of hazardous substances are defined.
  • Machinery and Equipment: Regulations ensure the safe operation and maintenance of machinery, including guarding and lockout/tagout procedures.
  • Fire and Emergency Preparedness: Employers must have fire prevention measures, emergency action plans, and provide evacuation training.
  • First Aid: Requirements outlining the provision of adequate first aid facilities and trained personnel are established.

Industry Practices

Various industries in Brunei Darussalam adopt practices that aim to achieve and often exceed the regulatory OHS standards:

  • Oil and Gas: The oil and gas sector employs stringent safety measures due to the high-risk nature of the industry. This often involves hazard identification systems, extensive safety training programs, and regular safety drills.
  • Construction: The Workplace Safety and Health (Construction) Regulations 2014 address specific hazards faced in the construction industry. These regulations mandate safety measures like fall protection, scaffolding standards, and risk assessments.
  • Healthcare: The Ministry of Health has published guidelines providing specific guidance on infection control, safe patient handling, and prevention of violence in healthcare settings.

Emphasis on Risk Management

Brunei Darussalam promotes a proactive approach to OHS centered on risk management. Employers are required to implement risk assessment processes to systematically identify and mitigate workplace hazards. This helps businesses make informed decisions to protect workers.

Worker Participation

Worker involvement is encouraged in Brunei's OHS framework. This fosters a collaborative approach between management and workers through communication and the establishment of safety and health committees.

Workplace inspection

Workplace inspections in Brunei Darussalam play a significant role in ensuring compliance with occupational health and safety standards. These inspections serve to verify if workplaces adhere to the Workplace Safety and Health Order, 2009, its corresponding regulations, and industry-specific guidelines. They also allow for the proactive identification and mitigation of potential hazards, preventing workplace accidents and injuries. Regular inspections reinforce the significance of safety and promote a safety-conscious culture within organizations.

Inspection Procedures

The Safety, Health and Environment National Authority (SHENA) within the Ministry of Energy is responsible for conducting workplace inspections in Brunei Darussalam. The inspection process generally follows these steps:

  1. Planning: SHENA develops an inspection schedule that may prioritize high-risk industries or workplaces with a history of non-compliance. Unannounced inspections can also occur in response to complaints or accidents.
  2. Opening conference: The inspector meets with the employer or representative to outline the scope and purpose of the inspection.
  3. Walkthrough Inspection: The inspector performs a detailed walkthrough of the workplace, observing work processes, examining equipment and facilities, and interviewing workers. Inspectors may review relevant documentation such as risk assessments, incident reports, and training records.
  4. Closing Conference: The inspector discusses preliminary findings with the employer, highlighting any identified hazards or non-compliance issues.
  5. Inspection Report: The inspector compiles a comprehensive report outlining the findings, required corrective actions, and deadlines for compliance.

Inspection Criteria

Workplace inspections in Brunei focus on a broad range of health and safety aspects, including:

  • Compliance with regulations: Ensuring adherence to the Workplace Safety and Health Order, 2009, and its associated regulations.
  • Hazard identification and risk control: Evaluating the effectiveness of the employer's risk assessment process and the implementation of control measures.
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Assessing the availability, suitability, and correct usage of PPE.
  • Machinery and equipment safety: Verifying that machinery is adequately guarded, maintained, and operated safely.
  • Emergency preparedness: Reviewing emergency plans, evacuation routes, and fire safety provisions.
  • Occupational health issues: Monitoring occupational health concerns such as noise exposure, chemical handling, and ergonomic risks.


Inspection frequency varies based on several factors, including:

  • Workplace risk profile: High-risk workplaces will be subject to more frequent inspections.
  • Complaints or incidents: Workplaces with recent incidents or complaints may trigger additional inspections.
  • Inspection history: Workplaces with repeated non-compliances may face increased inspection scrutiny.

Follow-up Actions

  • Issuance of Improvement Notices: If violations are identified, the inspector may issue improvement notices specifying corrective actions and deadlines.
  • Re-inspections: Follow-up inspections may be conducted to ensure effective implementation of corrective actions.
  • Penalties: In cases of serious or repeated non-compliance, SHENA may initiate enforcement actions, including fines or, in severe cases, halting work activities.

Workplace accidents

Workplace accidents in Brunei Darussalam are addressed through established protocols that ensure injured workers receive necessary support and promote improvements in workplace safety.

Reporting Requirements

In Brunei, the Workplace Safety and Health Order 2009 outlines specific reporting requirements for workplace accidents. Employers are obligated to report any accident resulting in death, serious injury requiring hospitalization for more than 24 hours, or loss of consciousness to the Commissioner for Workplace Safety and Health as soon as possible and within 10 days of the incident. Employers must also report certain dangerous occurrences, even if they don't result in injuries. These include explosions, equipment failures with the potential to cause serious injuries, and other incidents specified in the regulations. Additionally, employers have a duty to maintain a detailed record of all workplace accidents and injuries, regardless of severity.

Investigation Processes

Accident investigations are essential for identifying the root causes and preventing future occurrences. In Brunei, investigations are typically conducted by the employer and the Safety, Health and Environment National Authority (SHENA), particularly in the case of serious accidents or fatalities. Investigations generally involve site inspection, witness interviews, and reviewing relevant documents like risk assessments, maintenance records, and training logs.

Compensation Claims

The Employees' Compensation Act (Chapter 74 of the Laws of Brunei) provides a compensation framework for workers who sustain work-related injuries or illnesses. Employees may be eligible for coverage for the necessary medical treatment costs related to the injury, compensation for lost wages during the period of temporary disability, compensation for permanent impairment resulting from the workplace accident, and financial support to dependents in the case of a worker's death due to a workplace accident.

To initiate a compensation claim, employees should notify the employer about the injury or illness promptly, obtain a medical certificate documenting the work-related nature of the injury or illness, and submit the claim with relevant documentation to the Commissioner for Labour within the stipulated time limit.

It's important to note that this guide offers an overview. Consulting the relevant legislation, including the Workplace Safety and Health Order 2009 and the Employees' Compensation Act, is vital for the most accurate and up-to-date information. Employees are also advised to seek legal guidance regarding individual compensation claims.

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