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New Straits Times, 16 December 2012

EXCEPT for occupational safety and health practitioners, ergonomics is still not widely known in Malaysia.

At a recent talk I delivered on the importance of ergonomics, a member of the audience asked me whether I had mispronounced the word "economics".

Ergonomics is about integrating knowledge derived from the human sciences to match jobs, systems, products and environments to the physical and mental abilities and limitations.

Ergonomics is an important facet of occupational safety and health (OSH) that needs to be optimised for the wellbeing of people at work.

Ergonomics is a relatively new field in Malaysia in comparison with Japan, the United States and the United Kingdom.

Nevertheless, the philosophy, essence, principle and concepts of ergonomics are important and to disregard them would be a handicap in efforts to promote OSH in the workplace.

When ergonomic principles are not applied to the workplace, chronic musculoskeletal disorders -- such as back injuries, arm and hand problems, accidents and eye-strain -- may be common.

According to accident statistics reported by the Social Security Organisation, the number of accidents related to musculo-skeletal diseases increased from 14 cases in 2006 to 194 cases this year.

Industries suffer from tangible and intangible losses because of increased medication costs, decreased productivity, work quality and decreased worker morale.

It is well documented in other parts of the world that industries that implement ergonomics programmes report significant decreases in accidents, injuries, illnesses and healthcare costs over time, along with increase in productivity, work efficiency, product quality and worker morale.

The discipline of ergonomics is nothing peculiar to safety and health practitioners in this country but for the public, it is still difficult to sell.

This might be the reason why ergonomics is still considered an unknown science in Malaysia and Southeast Asia.

But due to the widespread use of computers at work and at home, there is a need to educate the public on the importance of ergonomics.

In some developed countries, ergonomics is even taught in schools. For example, in the UK, the Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors has introduced ergonomics to secondary school students and teachers online.

The knowledge gap on this subject needs to be addressed by all the government, educational institutions, professional societies and the work industry.

It is timely for the media to show more interest in publishing safety and health information, including ergonomics issues, with input from like the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Malaysia.

Monday, 05 November 2012 11:54

NIOSH Minta AES Ditangguh

Berita Harian, 5 November 2012

Kuala Lumpur: Institut Keselamatan dan Kesihatan Pekerjaan (NIOSH) mencadangkan penangguhan sementara pelaksanaan Sistem Penguatkuasaan Automatik (AES), sehingga isu yang dibangkitkan pelbagai pihak ditangani dengan berkesan.

Pengerusinya, Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye, berkata kerajaan perlu meneliti AES secara menyeluruh sebelum sistem itu dilaksanakan, termasuk mendapatkan maklum balas masyarakat khususnya pengguna.

Tak perlu terburu-buru

Walaupun AES dianggap sistem yang baik untuk mengurangkan jumlah kematian akibat kemalangan jalan raya raya seperti di beberapa negara Eropah, beliau berkata ia tidak wajar dilaksanakan terburu-buru tanpa mendapat maklum balas dan kajian menyeluruh.

Katanya, pemasangan AES di sebanyak 14 lokasi mengundang rasa tidak puas hati pengguna kerana didakwa dipasang di lokasi tidak sesuai serta bukan lokasi berisiko.

Di samping itu, sudah tiba masanya kerajaan mengkaji semula had laju dengan mendapat pandangan pelbagai pihak, termasuk pengeluar kenderaan, pengguna, pakar dan badan bukan kerajaan (NGO) berkaitan.

“Saya kecewa kerana walaupun AES adalah sistem yang baik tetapi disebabkan banyak kontroversi, ia seolah-olah bertujuan menyusahkan dan bukan membantu orang ramai.
Perbetul persepsi

“Pihak berkuasa perlu memperbetulkan persepsi masyarakat terlebih dulu dengan memberikan pendidikan menerusi kempen kesedaran.

“Semua lapisan masyarakat perlu dibabitkan untuk memberi maklum balas, di samping kesedaran dan keyakinan bahawa AES boleh dilaksanakan dengan kerjasama orang ramai supaya kemalangan dapat dikurangkan,” katanya.

Lam Thye berkata, NIOSH menganggap kes kemalangan jalan raya di negara ini sebagai serius kerana saban tahun angka kematian membabitkan golongan pekerja meningkat.

Katanya, mengikut perangkaan, kemalangan membabitkan pekerja yang berulang alik ke tempat kerja meningkat daripada 17,170 pada 2001 kepada 24,809 kes pada 2011.

INFO
- Diperkenalkan pada 23 September lalu
- 14 lokasi maut di Perak, Selangor, Putrajaya dan Kuala Lumpur
- 63,558 pesalah trafik dikenal pasti memandu melebihi had laju atau melanggar lampu merah dalam fasa pertama.
- Akan diperluaskan di sebanyak 831 lokasi di seluruh negara

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.

-- BERNAMA

 

Thursday, 26 April 2012 15:54

Nahas Industri Menurun 50%

Utusan Malaysia - 26 April 2012

KUALA LUMPUR 26 April - Kadar kemalangan dan kecederaan di tempat kerja mencatat penurunan sebanyak 50 peratus pada 2010 berbanding 10 tahun lalu.

Pengerusi Institut Keselamatan dan Kesihatan Pekerjaan Negara (NIOSH), Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye (gambar) berkata, berdasarkan data dari Pertubuhan Keselamatan Sosial (Perkeso), sebanyak 35,616 kes kemalangan perindustrian dilaporkan pada tahun 2010 berbanding 75,386 kes pada 2000.

“Kes-kes kemalangan itu melibatkan sektor perkilangan sebanyak 599 kes, pembinaan (4,665 kes) dan perkhidmatan (2,819 kes). Penurunan ini adalah satu perkembangan yang amat positif.

“Faktor-faktor yang menyebabkan kadar kemalangan perindustrian berkurangan ialah kerjasama antara kerajaan, NIOSH, Jabatan Keselamatan dan Kesihatan Pekerjaan (DOSH) dan Perkeso yang bergerak sebagai satu pasukan dalam membawa kesedaran mengenai isu ini kepada pihak majikan dan pekerja," katanya.

Beliau berkata demikian pada sidang akhbar selepas melancarkan Hari Keselamatan dan Kesihatan Dunia 2012 peringkat NIOSH di Bandar Baru Bangi dekat sini hari ini.

Turut hadir penceramah dari Jabatan Perlindungan Buruh dan Kebajikan Thailand, Dr. Keson Theppeang dan Pengarah Eksekutif NIOSH, Rosli Hussin.

Lam Thye berkata, pihak majikan kini lebih fokus dan sedia melabur di dalam semua aspek berkenaan sama ada keselamatan atau kesihatan untuk pekerja.

Dalam pada itu menurut beliau, tema untuk tahun ini iaitu Mempromosikan Keselamatan dan Kesihatan Pada Ekonomi Hijau adalah selaras dengan objektif NIOSH yang menegaskan betapa pentingnya untuk mewujudkan satu persekitaran mampan, hijau dan banyak peluang pekerjaan menggunakan teknologi hijau.

Thursday, 04 October 2012 15:25

Nahas Pergi, Balik Kerja Meningkat

Berita Harian, 4 October 2012

Kuala Lumpur: Dua daripada tiga kematian berkaitan kerja yang berlaku setiap hari di negara ini adalah akibat kemalangan jalan raya, ketika pergi dan balik kerja.

Pengerusi Institut Keselamatan dan Kesihatan Pekerjaan Negara (NIOSH), Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye, berkata walaupun kemalangan industri berkurangan, jumlah kemalangan jalan raya ketika pergi dan balik kerja meningkat 40 peratus bagi tempoh enam tahun lalu.

Menurut statistik Pertubuhan Keselamatan Sosial (PERKESO), kadar kemalangan di tempat kerja menurun 37 peratus daripada 95,006 kes pada 2000 kepada 59,897 kes pada 2011 berikutan peningkatan kesedaran mengenai keselamatan dan kesihatan pekerjaan.

Peningkatan membimbangkan

Namun, Lam Thye bimbang dengan jumlah tinggi kemalangan maut di Malaysia membabitkan pekerja dalam perjalanan pergi dan balik kerja.

"6,000 kematian dicatatkan setiap tahun sejak beberapa tahun lalu dan ini diterjemahkan kepada 18 hingga 20 nyawa setiap hari," katanya.

KOTA KINABALU, Feb 28 (Bernama)

Media practitioners who report on Occupational Safety and Health need to be given an opportunity to understand aspects of OSH to depart correct information to the public.

National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said many journalists and photographers had concerns regarding work assignments, particularly the pressure in obtaining a scoop without considering the risks they may be exposed to.

"Media organizations compete dynamically about who can transmit the latest news and events as they unfold, taking an advantage over competitors in securing a scoop and being the first on the scene.

"Some journalists, photographers and camera operators may unintentionally imperil their lives for sensational reports and images," he said when opening a seminar on Occupational Safety and Health for the Media here Tuesday.

Although Malaysia saw its first journalist die in Mogadishu in September last year, Lee reminded media practitioners to take precautions regardless of time and place.

-- BERNAMA

Wednesday, 29 August 2012 14:57

Lee - Safety And Health Of Workers Vital

New Sabah Times, 29th August, 2012

KUNDASANG: Although the country’s industrial accident rate has been halved in the past 10 years, there is still a need to build and foster an occupational safety and health (OSH) culture and strive towards an accident-free workplace environment.

Speaking at a press conference after the launching of an OSHseminar for the tourism industry in Sabah here yesterday, National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said the latest statistics from the Ministry of Human Resources should that the industrial accident rate had fallen from 10.3 cases for every 1,000 workers in 2002 to 5.72 cases last year.

He said this reflected the commitment and joint efforts by the government, employers and employees to reduce workplace accidents.

“While we are pleased to note the success of the joint efforts by all parties concerned, the biggest challenge remains that we only should further reduce the accident rate but also to build and foster an OSH culture in Malaysia.

“For a start, we need to benchmark ourselves against the developed countries which only have 3-4 accidents per 1,000 workers,” he said.

The Occupational Safety and Health Master Plan 2010-2015, he stressed, must be given utmost attention by all parties concerned to achieve further reduction in the rate of industrial accidents.

Lee also said companies must not profit at the expense of safety because if accidents occurred, lives may be lost and productivity would be affected.

“AS such, OSH ownership in every organisation is of paramount importance,” he said, adding that the focal point of safety was the human being or the employee who needed protection.

An accident prevention coupled with an OSH management strategy should therefore be adopted by all companies.

And, to achieve the total promotion of safety and health at work and elsewhere, organisational measures for accident prevention, motivation and behavioural change must be adopted.

Lee added that it was the responsibility of management to ensure that safety became a culture at their organisation and not just a priority.

“There is an urgent need to translate OSH knowledge into behaviour and practical application. OSH sloganeering is not the answer. We must avoid a situation where behind all the OSHbanners and signages, the workplace hazards are not addressed and controlled,” he said.

In this time of global competition and sweeping change, it is not enough for companies to make safety a priority.

Priorities change but cultures stand the test of time and safety must be a culture and a core value at the workplace.

He said managing occupational safety and health towards business competitiveness was very important and that employers must see training as an investment and not an expense.

“Management or employers must recognise the OSH of employees as an integral part of business management.

“Concerns for the bottom line must be looked at with equal gravity with OSH issues at the workplace. After all they are both concerned with the viability of the business enterprise,” he said.

Lee also said employees were often regarded by management to be the most important asset of any organisation.

“Hence, it makes sense that this particular asset should be protected in terms of health and safety and nurtured to ensure that it continues to be productive,” he said.

Management, he said, must now take a hard look at their asset and actively show how much they valued their employees with a responsible OSH policy backed up by the necessary organisation and system to implement accident prevention programmes.

“Common sense tells us that “safety is good business”. If industries give priority to safety issues at the workplace it will certainly be beneficial to the business,” he said.

The seminar was opened by Kundasang Assemblyman Dr Joachim Gunsalam on behalf the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment Dsatuk Masidi Manjun.

Also present were NIOSH Sabah regional manager Mohd Hussin Salam, Tourism Ministry’s permanent secretary Datuk Michael Emban and Ranau assistant district officer Bernard Kimin.

Lee (2nd left), flanked by Hussin (left) Dr Joachim (3rd left), Michael and Bernard (right) at the press conference

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