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.
Date of publication: May 16, 2012
Section heading: Main Section
Page number: 026
KUALA LUMPUR: In a bid to reduce industrial accidents and fatalities in the country, the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is organising a conference and exhibition on occupational safety and health.
NIOSH chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said creating a safe work environment required fundamental changes in the way work spaces were designed and personnel were deployed.
"These changes require leadership capable of transforming the beliefs and practices of those who create the risk and those who work with the risk," Lee said.
He said safety briefings were vital and should not only be a part of events that talk about safety.
"Such briefings must be given at all functions, be it a government or private sector.
"Even a wedding dinner should start with a safety briefing. What would be the reaction in case a fire breaks out in a hall filled with people?" he asked.
Lee said the thinking that "safety should be a priority" should be turned into "safety should be a way of life".
The conference will be held at the Sunway Pyramid Convention Centre in Petaling Jaya from Sept 2 to 4.
06/02/2012, Berita Harian
KUALA LUMPUR: Institut Keselamatan dan Kesihatan Pekerjaan Negara (NIOSH) menggesa agensi dan pihak berkuasa yang berkaitan supaya meningkatkan tahap keselamatan di sepanjang pantai di negara ini berikutan peningkatan jumlah kematian akibat lemas setiap tahun.
Pengerusinya, Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye, berkata strategi pengurusan perlu turut dirangka dan dilaksanakan secara berkesan untuk mengelak kematian akibat lemas.
"Kita memerlukan strategi bagi pantai yang selamat, bebas daripada kes mati lemas. Ia bukan untuk menghalang orang ramai daripada bergembira, atau menegah mereka daripada berada dalam air. Kami mahu mereka selamat semasa berbuat demikian," katanya dalam satu kenyataan di sini hari ini. - BERNAMA
Harian Metro, 6 November 2012
KUALA LUMPUR: Insiden berlaku perlu dijadikan pengajaran sekali gus menambah baik aspek tertentu demi keselamatan kakitangan berkhidmat di bidang berisiko tinggi, kata Pengerusi Institut Keselamatan dan Kesihatan Pekerjaan (Niosh), Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye.
Beliau berkata demikian mengulas kejadian 10 anggota bomba dan penyelamat termasuk lima yang parah akibat terbakar berikutan tangki minyak pelincir terpakai yang meletup di Pengkalan Chepa, Kelantan kelmarin.
Menurut Lee, beliau percaya Jabatan Bomba dan Penyelamat mempunyai skim latihan dan prosedur keselamatan yang cukup untuk melindungi anggotanya ketika berkhidmat, namun kejadian berlaku di luar jangkaan sekali gus meminta mereka lebih berhati-hati.
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,
Harian Metro, 4 September 2012;
KUALA LUMPUR: Mana-mana syarikat yang tidak mengamalkan aspek keselamatan dan kesihatan pekerjaan (OSH) dengan betul khususnya ketika berlaku bencana boleh diambil tindakan tegas, kata Menteri Sumber Manusia, Datuk Seri Dr S Subramaniam.
Mengambil contoh kejadian kapal tangki milik MISC Berhad, MV Bunga Alpinia yang terbakar dan meletup di Jeti Terminal Loji Petronas Metanol Labuan, Julai lalu hingga mengakibatkan lima terkorban, beliau berkata, insiden itu perlu diambil iktibar semua majikan secara serius.
Jelasnya, prosedur keselamatan seharusnya berada di tahap betul, malah apabila berlakunya situasi mendesak, ia perlu beroperasi dengan baik tanpa mengakibatkan musibah ke atas pekerja.
"Dalam kejadian kapal meletup itu kami dapati langkah keselamatan ketika terkena petir tidak berfungsi dengan baik. Kami akan siasat dengan menyeluruh, jika terdapat sebarang kesilapan tindakan boleh diambil.
"Tapi lebih utamanya, apa yang boleh kita belajar daripada kejadian ini ialah memastikan semua langkah keselamatan berada dalam keadaan baik dan berfungsi dengan elok terutama ketika bencana," katanya di sini, semalam.
Beliau terdahulu merasmikan Persidangan Keselamatan dan Kesihatan Pekerjaan (COSH) ke-15 di Pusat Konvensyen Sunway Pyramid, di sini, diadakan serentak dengan Persidangan Institut Kesihatan dan Keselamatan Pekerjaan Asian (AOSHRI) ke-4.
Seramai 1,300 peserta menghadiri persidangan itu yang turut membabitkan kontinjen daripada 14 negara.
Dalam pada itu, Subramaniam turut menggesa majikan supaya tidak lokek membuat pelaburan dalam bidang OSH berikutan percaya ia adalah usaha penting ke arah membantu meningkatkan produktiviti dan keuntungan syarikat.
"Apabila bercakap mengenai kesihatan, kita bukan hanya bercakap mengenai kesihatan fizikal, malah kesihatan mental serta emosi. Ia seharusnya menjadi pendekatan holistik kepada keselamatan dan kesihatan pekerjaan.
"Kerana itu tak rugi sekiranya majikan melabur dalam OSH untuk mempersiapkan pekerja mereka sekali gus produktiviti turut meningkat," katanya.
Beliau berkata, kerajaan memperuntukkan sebanyak RM200,000 kepada Institut Keselamatan dan Kesihatan Pekerjaan Negara (NIOSH) sebagai dana penyelidikan yang diberi kepada mana-mana pihak berhasrat menyelidik bidang OSH.
Katanya, dana itu yang diberi secara tahunan diharap dapat diteruskan di masa akan datang, sekali gus membantu penyelidik membangun data komprehensif berkaitan.
The Star Sarawak, 06 December 2011
Sibu tops industrial accidents list
BANGI: Industri pembinaan menyumbang kepada jumlah paling tinggi kemalangan dan kecederaan di tempat kerja iaitu kirakira 4,665 kes daripada angka keseluruhan 35,616 kejadian malang itu sepanjang 2010.
Pengerusi Institut Keselamatan dan Kesihatan Pekerjaan Negara (NIOSH), Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye, berkata industri perkhidmatan membabitkan elektrik, air dan gas pula mencatat jumlah kedua tertinggi kemalangan dan kecederaan di tempat kerja sebanyak 2,819 kes, manakala 599 kes bagi industri pembuatan.
Katanya, jumlah kemalangan dan kecederaan di tempat kerja secara keseluruhan pada 2010, menurun 39,770, iaitu kirakira 50 peratus daripada 75,386 kes berbanding 10 tahun lalu.
"Ini satu perkembangan positif dan penurunan ini dapat dicapai hasil peningkatan tahap kesedaran di kalangan pekerja dan majikan dengan keduadua pihak menunjukkan komitmen kepada keselamatan pekerja.
"Ia juga disebabkan pelbagai usaha ditumpukan kerajaan dalam menangani perkara itu, terutama melalui kempen oleh NIOSH, Pertubuhan Keselamatan Sosial (PERKESO) dan Jabatan Kesihatan dan Keselamatan Pekerjaan (DOSH).
"Selain itu, faktor ketiga penurunan itu membabitkan inisiatif majikan yang mengutamakan aspek keselamatan walaupun terpaksa melabur tinggi seperti membeli alat perlindungan diri kepada pekerja," katanya selepas melancarkan Hari Keselamatan dan Kesihatan Pekerjaan (OSH) Sedunia, di bangunan NIOSH, di sini.
Bertemakan `Mempromosi Keselamatan dan Kesihatan dalam Ekonomi Hijau', OSH disambut setiap 28 April untuk mengingatkan golongan pekerja supaya mencegah kemalangan dan penyakit disebabkan pekerjaan, di seluruh dunia.
Sementara itu, beliau berkata kira-kira 20 sekolah menengah di Lembah Klang sudah membabitkan diri dalam program OSH anjuran NIOSH di sekolah, sejak diperkenalkan Mac lalu.
Katanya, program itu bagi memberi kesedaran melalui kempen kepada pelajar untuk mengelak berlaku kemalangan di beberapa tempat di sekolah seperti di kelas dan makmal akibat kecuaian atau kerosakan infrastruktur yang mampu mengancam nyawa.
"Bagi mengelak kemalangan kepada pelajar sama ada di sekolah atau aktiviti luar sekolah, guru juga disaran mempertingkatkan pengetahuan dalam OSH bagi mengelak berlaku kejadian tidak diingini kepada pelajar seperti pelajar terkena api dan melecur teruk ketika mengikuti perkhemahan, " katanya.
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.