Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye has urged all parties to support the National Occupational Safety and Health (NOSH) policy which is aimed at protecting workers’ rights to a safe, healthy and conducive work environment
The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) chairman said to ensure the success of the policy, all stakeholders must give their full support and commitment to help create a good occupational safety and health (OSH) culture at workplaces.
“Those who fail to adhere to the policy should realise that action could be taken against them under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) 1994.”
Lee said the launch of the policy was timely as under the OSH Master Plan 2016-2020, the Human Resources Ministry wants to reduce industrial accidents to 2.53 per 1,000 workers and the industrial fatality rate to 4.36 per 100,000 workers by 2020.
“However, the accident rate at workplace per 1,000 workers has slightly increased to 2.93 in 2017 compared with 2.88 in 2016 and 2.81 in 2015.
“In 2006, the rate was 4.77 accidents per 1,000 workers. The industrial fatality rate has also increased to 4.9 per 100,000 workers last year compared to 4.84 per 100,000 workers in both 2016 and 2015.
“If this trend continues, the targets set for both industrial accidents and fatalities could not be achieved in 2020.”
He said the NOSH policy was drafted by the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (NCOSH) with the cooperation of other stakeholders especially organisations representing employers and workers.
“Its main aim is to improve the OSH level through sustainable risk management at workplaces. It will help protect employers and employees while at the same time increase productivity.
“The policy has also listed nine commitments by the government including helping to improve the OSH level through the culture of accident prevention; supervising and enforcing OSH legislation at workplaces and increasing the participation and cooperation of all stakeholders to strengthen OSH management in the country.
“It will also ensure that employers provide a safe and healthy work system and take care of the welfare of their employees.
“At the same time, workers must give priority to their own safety and health and to others at their workplace. We must also encourage all Malaysians to embrace “Vision Zero”, which is the first ever global campaign to improve safety, health and wellbeing at work.”
He said Vision Zero was not a new target, but a new mindset that all injuries and ill health arising from work were preventable and zero harm was possible.