The Star, 31 October 2013
BATU PAHAT: The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (Niosh) has pressed the alarm button over the rising number of commuting accidents in the country.
According to Socso statistics, the number has increased each year – from 17,682 cases in 2007 to 26,262 last year. From January to July this year, there were 16,440 cases.
Commuting accidents, mainly road accidents, involve workers on the way to or from the workplace.
Niosh chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said the Government was worried about the rise in the number of such accidents.
“We are concerned because commuting accident cases have gone up about 24% over the last two years.
“Niosh is working closely with the Department of Occupational Safety and Health, Socso and the Road Safety Department to provide education, defensive riding and driving training and others.
“We want to educate workers so that they will be more careful on the road,” he said at the launch of an Occupational Safety and Health in School programme at the Kluang Vocational College here yesterday.
The college is the first vocational institution which participated in the programme since its introduction in 2004 to inculcate work safety awareness in school.
Talks and exhibitions are conducted at schools for teachers and students. So far, more than 20 primary and secondary schools have joined the programme.
According to Lee, 333 incidents were reported in the education sector in 2011 and 310 cases in 2010, but many more were not reported.
“Many feel that schools are safe, but accidents can happen anywhere and we have come across cases like collapsed roofs and accidents on the football field and in the laboratory.
“We want to teach teachers and students about OSH knowledge so they can treat the school like a workplace,” he said.