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Monday February 6, 2012, The Star Online
FIRE and Rescue Department director-general Datuk Wan Mohd Nor recently said that the Malaysian public has yet to grasp the importance of participating in safety drills because they have not faced a devastating natural disaster or massive fire.
As one who is passionate about safety and is working towards promoting safety, I share his view.
The fact is that Malaysia is regarded as a safe country unlike others which are often hit by natural disasters like earthquakes, typhoons, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis etc.
Malaysians are generally in a comfort zone and take the issue of safety for granted.
The irony is that although Malaysia is safe from major natural disasters, our road safety record is horrendous judging by the 6,000 road deaths annually.
A matter raised by Wan Mohd Nor pertaining to the lack of urgency involving occupants of commercial buildings, airports and train stations each time when fire and safety drills are carried out is a case in point.
Occupants of the buildings are supposed to be out of the premises in about 30 minutes but in Malaysia many take their own sweet time to vacate the premises, with some still making telephone calls or taking time to finish their drinks.
There should never be such a lackadaisical attitude as it can prove to be disastrous or fatal in the event of a fire engulfing a building or in an emergency.
Participating in a fire and rescue drill or any other form of safety drills is very important and all those affected must have a sense of urgency as it is a matter of life and death.
I believe there are buildings in Malaysia which do not have annual fire and safety drills.
It is time for the parties involved to look at this matter seriously and act to rectify the situation.
Organising safety and fire drills in respect of all buildings must be done annually.
Drilling safety into Malaysians must be a way of life and be made a core value and a culture.
We must never be under the assumption that Malaysia is forever safe from natural disasters. We had our fair share of the 2008 tsunami. With the global climatic change, we may encounter some natural disasters in the future.
As such Malaysians must take an active interest in all forms of safety drills and learn some useful lessons which are beneficial and prepare them for the worst in the event of a disaster.
TAN SRI LEE LAM THYE,
Posted on January 13, 2012, Friday
KOTA KINABALU: The rate of industrial accidents in Malaysia dropped by 48 per cent while commuting accidents increased by 30 per cent from 17,170 to 22,040 cases in the past 10 years, according to National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye.
He said the increase in commuting accidents should be given attention by employers as it could affect productivity and result in losses.
“Commuting accidents include workers who are on the way to work or going back home from office. It shows that employers should create safety awareness among motorists and drivers in the workplace,” he said.
Lee said there were a total of 85,926 industrial and commuting accidents in 2001 and 57,656 accidents in 2010.
He said NIOSH Sabah will continue its effort to raise safety and health awareness in both the private and public sectors with various seminars throughout the year.
He said three areas, namely Agriculture and Plantation Division (APD), Occupational Health and Hospitality Division (OHH) and Occupational Safety and Management (OSM) Division, will be prioritised.
“There will be 14 scheduled courses, 18 in-house training and three seminars under the APD with an estimated number of participants at 1,000, while the first Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) – Basic Water Safety course will be organized under the same division.
“As for OHH, NIOSH will be having 18 scheduled courses and 13 in-house trainings on the health in workplace with estimated 600 participants.
“Another course under OHH with 500 female participants will be organized by Socso in Tawau to increase the awareness among women,” he told a press conference at Hyatt Regency Kinabalu yesterday.
Lee said NIOSH will also conduct manual handling and ergonomics training here and in Kudat, Keningau, Sandakan, Lahad Datu, Semporna and Tawau.
Under the OMS, 18 scheduled courses, 23 in-house training and 70 passport security safety courses will be conducted with estimated 2,600 participants.
He said this year’s programmes will be carried out in collaboration with the Road Safety Department (JKJR), oil and gas industry and also manufacturing and construction industry in Sabah.
Lee said NIOSH Labuan and Sabah trained 6,218 participants in 2011.
NIOSH was established on 24 June 1992 as a Company Limited by Guarantee, under the Malaysian Companies Act 1965. As a company, NIOSH is expected to operate efficiently and with minimal administrative bureaucracy.
During the event yesterday, Lee introduced the newly appointed Sabah and Labuan NIOSH manager, Mohd Hussin Abd Salam as the person in charge of the state level training and courses.
Date of publication: Jan 13, 2012
Section heading: Main Section
Page number: 028
KOTA KINABALU: Courses for workers in the oil and gas industry are among the key agenda for the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in Sabah this year.
The institute is targeting at least 4,000 participants for a variety of courses in its schedule this year and this includes those related to agriculture, tourism and manufacturing where the oil and gas sector comes in.
With new oil field discoveries, major on going projects by national petroleum company Petronas and strategic investments by the state, a boom is expected from this year and the demand for manpower will follow for the industry.
NIOSH chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye yesterday said the state budget of RM4 billion this year indicated things will not slow down in the state especially since the bulk of it will be spent on basic infrastructure development and public amenities.
"For this, NIOSH has taken the initiative to organise more occupational safety and health courses to complement the projected growth in the state especially in the agricultural, tourism and manufacturing sectors."
Earlier Lee witnessed the handing over of duties to the new Sabah and Labuan NIOSH manager Mohd Hussin Abd Salam from Azhar Ahmad who was transferred to its headquarters in Bangi, Selangor.
KOTA KINABALU, 12 Jan (Bernama) -- Institut Keselamatan dan Kesihatan Pekerjaan Negara (Niosh) menawarkan 104 kursus, termasuk 50 kursus berjadual, dalam tiga bidang utama di negeri ini bagi memantapkan sistem keselamatan serta kesihatan pekerjaan selain mengurangkan kemalangan di tempat kerja.
Pengerusinya, Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye berkata perancangan itu diatur berikutan Belanjawan 2012 Sabah berjumlah kira-kira RM4.04 juta yang turut melibatkan sektor pertanian, pelancongan dan pembuatan.
"Ekonomi negeri diramal berkembang di antara 4.5 peratus hingga 5 peratus dan pelaburan awam dan swasta serta penggunaan domestik akan terus merangsang pertumbuhan ekonomi di negeri di bawah bayu ini," katanya sempena majlis makan tengahari bersama media Khamis.
Beliau berkata antara penekanan yang akan dilakukan di Niosh Wilayah Sabah sepanjang tahun ini termasuk perancangan mengadakan 14 kursus berjadual, 18 kursus dalaman dan tiga seminar kesedaran dengan anggaran penyertaan keseluruhan seramai 1,000 orang bagi Bahagian Pertanian dan Perladangan (APD).
"Manakala Bahagian Kesihatan Pekerjaan dan Hospitaliti (OHH) secara umumnya akan menjalankan 18 kursus berjadual dan 13 kursus dalaman yang berkaitan dengan Kesihatan Pekerjaan dengan sasaran 600 peserta," katanya.
Lee, yang juga Naib Pengerusi Yayasan Pencegahan Jenayah Malaysia (MCPF), berkata sebanyak 18 kursus berjadual turut diatur dengan 23 kursus dalaman serta 70 kursus pasport keselamatan dengan sasaran peserta keseluruhan seramai 2,600 orang bagi Bahagian keselamatan Pekerjaan dan Sistem pengurusan (OSMS).
Beliau berkata selain itu, Bahagian OHH juga dijangka menjalankan beberapa siri seminar dan kursus tajaan Pertubuhan Keselamatan Sosial (Perkeso) dengan sasaran melatih 500 peserta di Kota Kinabalu dan Tawau serta satu kursus dalaman yang bertajuk 'OSH-Basic Water Safety' yang akan dikendalikan APD.
"Namun kursus ini masih di dalam peringkat pembinaan modul dan dijangka berada di pasaran tahun ini," katanya.
KUCHING: The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) will soon work with other relevant government departments and agencies to find ways the country could reduce the alarming number of commuting accidents.
NIOSH chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said the number of commuting accidents over the years was gradually increasing and something has to be done about it.
“Last year alone the total number of commuting accidents reported to the Social Security Organisation (Socso) was 22,040 which constituted almost 39 per cent of the total number of industrial accidents reported to Socso,” he said.
He explained that commuting accidents were those involving employees on their way to and back from their workplace, when they were out for lunch break or travelling from one point to the other as required by their scope of duty.
“It comes under traffic case but because it involves employees we also regard it as one of the occupational safety and health problems. Therefore being a body that has been tasked to promote occupational safety and health awareness in the country we feel that something has to be done about this.
“Probably in a few months’ time we will sit down together with other relevant authorities to work out how we can minimise the number of commuting accidents.”
He was speaking to reporters at a news conference after opening the two-day Borneo Conference of Occupational Safety and Health (BOSH) at Pullman Hotel here yesterday.
Earlier, Lee said that in the global economy, occupational safety and health issues were among the key determinants to a company’s competitiveness through productivity enhancement and efficiency.
“Observations and evidence had shown that an increase in productivity and improvement in workplace environment are the results of good safety and health work practices and the adoption of a work safety culture.
“OSH (Occupational Safety and Health) must therefore be treated as an investment and not an expense and this is in line with the maxim that safety is a good business,” he noted.
As such, he said, all the top management level of any company should not just make occupational safety and health their topmost priority but instead make it their culture.
He said poor OSH performance has a negative impact particularly for small and medium enterprises.
“The human and business costs of workplace accidents and fatalities and ill health are immense. It will not only disrupt the day-to-day operation of the enterprises concerned but may also lead to the loss of lives and other financial losses,” he added.
He pointed out that everyone must commit themselves to foster and promote a common preventive safety and health culture that would become a fundamental basis for improving OSH performance in this era of rapid development and globalisation.
“Nurturing and maintaining a preventive safety and health culture requires making use of all available means to increase general awareness, knowledge and understanding of the concepts of hazards and risks and how they may be prevented or controlled.
“However, while the government can put the necessary legislative framework in place, employers and employees themselves must play their part to ensure that their organisations accord the highest priority and commitment to building a safety culture at all levels.”
He said that only by working together would they achieve the high safety and health standards aspired.
Lee stated that although the number of accidents at workplaces had shown a significant reduction since the introduction of OSHA in 1994 that did not mean that there was room for complacency.
“According to the statistics compiled by the Ministry of Human Resources, the number of industrial accidents reported to Socso and the Labour Department for all sectors decreased from 75,386 in 2000 to 35,616 in 2010. This is a substantial reduction of over 52.7 per cent over a period of 10 years.”
“However, although there is a decline in the average number of industrial accidents from eight per 1,000 workers in 2000 to 4.8 in 2010, we should strive against the benchmark of developed countries which only have one to two accidents per 1,000 workers,” he commented.
BOSH is a biannual event created to promote OSH awareness particularly in the Borneo region and the country as a whole with the first conference being organised in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah in 2009.
Among those present at the occasion yesterday were NIOSH executive director Rosli Hussin, State Occupational Safety and Health Department (DOSH) director Dasuki Mohd Heak, State Labour Department director August Buma and Sarawak Socso director John Riba Marin.