Archive for the ‘Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)’ Category

Make safety at workplaces people’s agenda – Lam Thye

Sunday, September 24th, 2017

KUALA LUMPUR: The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has called on the public to implement the occupational safety and health (OSH) management system at all places of work, including schools and educational institutions.

NIOSH chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said OSH should be made the people’s agenda and it was also even more urgent now in the wake of the recent fire at the Darul Quran Ittifaqiyah residential religious school in Jalan Keramat Ujung here, which claimed 23 lives.

“Fatal tragedies including fires at tahfiz schools could be prevented if a good OSH management system was implemented at workplaces and safety audits carried out.

“With the help of other agencies and non-governmental organisations, NIOSH will continue to educate the public and create awareness on safety and health at work among workers and their family members,” he said yesterday.

He explained that schools were also considered as workplaces under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) 1994, and as such an OSH committee must be set up if it had 40 workers or above.

He said NIOSH would bring the ideas and aspirations of OSH practitioners to the government, including those which were gathered during the 2050 National Transformation session on OSH at the workplace.

Lee added NIOSH would also promote the Vision Zero campaign which emphasises that injuries and ill health at the workplace were preventable if good OSH practices were given attention.

“Vision Zero is not a new target but a change in our mindset that all injuries and ill health can be prevented. The pursuit of it was not about achieving zero accidents but to

find solutions to help prevent injuries and ill health.”


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Niosh: Safety systems benefit all

Wednesday, August 2nd, 2017

KUALA LUMPUR: Occupational safety and health (OSH) and environmental management systems not only benefit organisations, but also workers and the local community, said National Institute of Occupa­tional Safety and Health (Niosh) chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye.

“It will also protect the environment in our pursuit to develop the country,” he said.

Lee said 1,057 organisations had been certified for their OSH management systems and 1,225 received certifications for their environmental management systems.

“Organisations can monitor, assess and improve their OSH and environmental standards with these systems in place. Studies show that an organisation’s success is closely related to the implementation of the OSH and environmental management systems,” he said.

Niosh Certification, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Niosh, is a certification body accredited by Standards Malaysia.
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Niosh urges authorities to address spike in leptospirosis cases.

Saturday, July 15th, 2017

PETALING JAYA: The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (Niosh) has urged all relevant authorities to step up efforts in tackling the increasing number of leptospirosis cases in the country.

In a statement, Niosh chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said there was a critical need to get rid of rodents to prevent the problem from getting worse.

He added that relevant agencies should prioritise environmental hygiene in waste management operations and rodent control to prevent leptospirosis.

“The increase in the number of rats and mice can worsen the spread of the disease.

“All local authorities must adopt effective and sustainable measures to rid of rat-infested areas and regularly clean up garbage disposal sites,” he said.

Lee said food operators must exercise their civic responsibility to keep their premises clean to prevent an increase in the rodent population, including hiring pest control services to destroy the rodents.

“Many drains and backlanes of eating establishments are infested with rats. Food and rubbish thrown into the drain supply the rodents with food, which encourages the growth of the rat population.

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Lee Lam Thye: Underreporting hinders efforts to tackle industrial accidents.

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

PETALING JAYA: The underreporting of industrial accident cases will affect the effectiveness of the Government’s medium and long-term plans to tackle the problem, said Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye.

The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (Niosh) chairman said that was because the Government’s plans would be drafted based on inaccurate data.

He said the number of accidents reported to the Social Security Organisation (Socso) and to the Department of Occupational Safety and Health (Dosh) differed significantly by 97.49%, based on a study by researchers from Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM).

“The research shows that although 31.347 accidents in the construction sector were reported to Socso from 2009 to 2014, the number of cases investigated by Dosh was only 787.

“The huge gap between the cases compiled by Socso and Dosh may suggest that the actual number of accidents in the construction sector is much higher,” he said in a statement Tuesday.

He added that many accident cases in the construction sector were not reported by employers, especially non-fatal accidents or less severe cases.

The study entitled “Malaysian Construction Industry: Trends of Occupational Accidents from 2006 to 2015″ was published in the latest Journal of Occupational Safety and Health 2016.

Lee said the lack of accurate data would have a negative impact on the safety and welfare of workers in the construction industry, which has the highest risk of fatality compared with other industries in the country.

“The victims or their next-of-kin would normally lodge a report with Socso in order to claim for the benefits after the occupational accidents had occurred.

“There is a possibility that accidents in the construction sector were much higher as most of the workers were foreigners, including those who had worked without or with expired permits.

“Socso’s figures only cover those who have contributed to its fund and the data is incomplete since there is no available statistics on unregistered local and foreign workers in the country,” he said.

Lee stressed that a nationwide awareness campaign is necessary to urge all employers to report every single accident and near miss that have occurred at their workplaces.

He said many employers were unaware that it is compulsory to report such cases under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) 1994.

The construction sector recorded 751 deaths caused by occupational accidents from 2007 to 2016.

In 2016 alone, there were 2,880 accidents and 55 deaths.

The second highest number of deaths were recorded in the manufacturing sector (370), followed by agriculture, forestry, logging and fishery (337); transport, storage and communication (134); utility (81); mining and quarrying (64); financial, insurance, real estate and business services (55); public services and statutory bodies (30); wholesale and retail trade (19), and hotel and restaurant (6).

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‘Ensure wellbeing and welfare of healthcare staff’.

Sunday, May 14th, 2017

KUALA LUMPUR: Following a recent incident which claimed the life of a doctor in Kuala Terengganu, several medical associations are urging the authorities to give more focus to the wellbeing and welfare of healthcare staff.

They also called upon the Health Ministry and other stakeholders to look into raising awareness about safety measures to prevent a similar tragedy.

Paediatrician-in-training Dr Nurul Huda Ahmad’s death on Tuesday was the latest involving a medical officer driving home post-call after completing nearly 33 hours of duty.

Prior to that, another doctor, Dr Afifah Mohd Ghazi, also died in an accident of similar nature.

In a statement, the associations urged the authorities to address the issue of tiredness and sleep deprivation by organising campaigns and actively engaging healthcare staff.

Citing a 2015 survey carried out among healthcare professionals, the associations said more than half (54.8%) of post-call motor vehicle accidents (MVAs) occurred after working between 25 and 36 hours.

The survey involving 440 respondents also showed that 64.8% of them admitted to suffering from psychological trauma following the accident.

Citing another research, the associations said most medical doctors would have to continue their duties for another four to 10 hours after serving the compulsory 24-hour on-call duty.

The research found that sleep deprivation was one of the factors for MVAs and comparable to alcohol-induced intoxication.

The associations said it was high time for action to be taken to prevent the loss of more lives.

“We recognise that there are many other factors contributing to MVAs such as vehicle issues, poor road conditions and distraction, among others.

“However, we cannot exclude the fact that fatigue or sleep deprivation is a recognisable and preventable factor in MVAs,” it said.

The associations offered several suggestions, including setting up a dedicated task force, to investigate MVAs among healthcare staff and how the incidents were correlated to their working hours.

They also suggested establishing a law or act concerning “safe working hours”, providing alternative transport facilities or shuttle services from the hospital to designated drop-off points and providing mandatory “post-call off” or “day-off” for night-shift healthcare staff or on-call doctors.
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Sabah’s major economic sectors urged to implement OSH practices

Saturday, April 29th, 2017

TAWAU: Three major economic sectors in Sabah –tourism, agriculture and logging – need to implement good occupational safety and health practices to reduce the number of accidents at the workplace.

Minister of Human Resources, Dato Sri Richard Riot Anak Jaem said the level of participation of employers and workers was still low in training programmes provided by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

According to him, the tourism industry in Sabah valued at RM7.25 billion would be affected if no measures are taken by the authorities and tour operators to ensure the safety of employees and tourists.

Likewise, he said if the number of accidents and fatalities among workers in the agriculture and logging sectors keep increasing, the country’s image as an exporter of agricultural products and timber would be tarnished.

“According to the latest statistics issued by the Social Security Organisation (SOCSO), total number of accidents from 2011 to 2016 was 8,405 in the agricultural sector and 1,899 in the forestry sector across the country.

“The breakdown of the statistics report shows that just in Sabah in 2016, there were 182 accidents reported for both sectors,” he said.

He said this when declaring open the NIOSH Office in Tawau at Jalan Damai yesterday which was attended by Minister of Youth and Sports, Datuk Tawfiq Abu Bakar Titingan and NIOSH chairman, Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye. The minister also reminded all construction companies to appoint a site safety supervisor to ensure the safety of workers at the construction sites.

SOCSO has recorded 721 fatalities and 49,430 disabilities nationwide with a total sum of RM2.948 billion paid out as compensation to the next-of-kin.

As such, he believes the new NIOSH office in Tawau will help to boost awareness in occupational safety and health in Sabah.


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Over 50 schools sign up for OSH programme

Sunday, April 23rd, 2017

SANDAKAN: More than 50 schools nationwide have so far signed up for the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) school programme—an initiative to help prevent accidents on school premises.

National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said the high participation rate to the strong collaboration between Human Resources Ministry and the Education Ministry, and anticipates that more schools will join the programme.

“Since the Memorandum of Understanding between the two ministries was signed in 2015, several schools and institutions in Sabah have also participated in the programme.

“They are Kolej Vokasional Tawau; Institute Sinaran (Kota Kinabalu), SMK Benoni (Papar); MRSM Tun Mohamad Fuad Stephans (Sandakan); SM St. Patrick (Tawau); and SMK Merpati, which saw the programme launched today,” he said during the launch event at SMK Merpati here.

He said the Human Resources Ministry had advised all schools with at least 40 staff to set up an OSH committee, as required in the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994.

“The OSH committee could help reduce the number of accidents in schools, as they would practise the Hazard Identification, Risk Assessment and Risk Control (HIRARC) concept,” he stressed.

Based on the Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH)’s records, 31 school-related accidents were reported in the past five years, which included fatal incidents in which football goal posts and ceiling fans fell on students.

There were also incidents of students coming into contact with chemicals such as mercury in science labs. Lee believes that the actual number of accidents is higher, as some schools might have not reported cases that they considered as small.

He believes most past incidents could have been avoided if schools had adopted good OSH practises and conducted regular safety audits, as promoted by NIOSH:


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All schools in Malaysia should have a Safety Officer: NIOSH

Saturday, April 15th, 2017

Chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said that schools with more than 1,000 teachers and students combined should have an expert on site who can share knowledge and give necessary advice on safety inside and outside the school. NSTP pix

GEORGE TOWN: The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has urged the Education Ministry to appoint Safety Officers in schools throughout the country, to better manage the safety and health of students and teachers.

Chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said that schools with more than 1,000 teachers and students combined should have an expert on site who can share knowledge and give necessary advice on safety inside and outside the school.

“We have seen many incidents inside and outside schools. For instance, young students drowning when they go on picnics.

“A lack of knowledge on safety could be causing it. Hence, with the appointment of a Safety Officer, teachers and students can be guided when going camping and during other activities.

“These officers must be well-trained and knowledgeable on Occupational Safety and Health (OSH),” he said in a press conference after his speech during the Asian Conference on School Safety, at the Penang Chinese Girls High School here, today.

Lee also pointed out that numerous accidents at old schools have taken lives of many students.

He recalled that a student once died after football goalposts fell on him while he was playing in a school field.

There were also other cases of old ceiling fans falling all of a sudden, injuring students in classrooms.

“The (Education) Ministry must conduct a comprehensive audit on the safety of aged school buildings.

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Training program for safer working environment

Saturday, April 15th, 2017

Dr Joseph (centre), Dr Jacob (left) and Grandis Hotel director of sales Evangeline Tseu during a press conference announcing the CPR First Aid and Fire Safety at the Workplace programme.

KOTA KINABALU: With intent to promote a safer working environment, Relevant Strategic Resources Sdn Bhd developed a cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) first aid and fire safety training programme to impart basic practical first aid and fire safety knowledge on industry players.

The training programme, which is planned for July 11, will feature Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF)-certified trainers Dr Joseph Lee and Ir Dr Jacob Yan, who will conduct two modules, namely CPR and First Aid at the Workplace, and Fire Safety at the Workplace.

The modules, which fulfil the stipulated needs under the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994 and the Factory and Machinery Act 1967, are meant to equip employees with skills to identify medical emergencies to be able to take first aid measures in order to prevent further damage.

“Participants will be exposed to both hands-on knowledge and a technical understanding of workplace safety and precautionary measures with the progamme’s combination of the two modules.

“Accidents or emergency situations can cost lives and it can happen anywhere at any time. While prevention is of course the best option, even the best preventive efforts sometimes fail.

“That’s why it’s so important to always be prepared for such eventualities,” said Dr Joseph, adding that proper initial handling of accident victims would contribute significantly to the final outcome, often determining if a life could be saved.

Dr Jacob added that employees needed to possess basic knowledge on fires in the event that one might take place, and urged them not to simply depend on the fire and rescue department.

“The most crucial thing is to know how to put out a fire when it is still small, because the whole point is to prevent it from spreading and causing more damage.

“Employees should know the basics of fire characteristics in order to prevent disasters at the workplace,” he said.

Participation fees are priced at RM850 per person, with an early bird deal of RM790 aside from discounts for groups of more than eight persons.

For every attending programme participant, RM100 from the fees will be donated to the Sabah Social Welfare Department.

Sabah-based factory workers are highly encouraged to participate, while other target groups include workplace first aiders, human resource managers and personnel, safety and security managers and personnel, construction site workers and tourism industry personnel.

The programme is tailored ideally for a group of no more than 30 persons in order for more interaction and focus.

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M’sia needs more Safety & Health Officers: NIOSH

Tuesday, April 11th, 2017

National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) chairman, Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye at the soft launch of the Conference and Exhibition on Occupational Safety and Health (COSH) at NIOSH’s headquarters in Bandar Baru Bangi, Selangor. NSTP Photo

BANGI: The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is calling on employers nationwide to groom more Safety and Health Officers (SHOs).

Its chairman, Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye, said that there is a shortage of SHOs due to an increase in workforce size and the proliferation of new development projects across the country.

“Our country needs at least 9,000 SHOs, but based on the Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH)’s records, only 5,984 registered SHOs received their licences last year,” he said.

Lee said that it was reported there were more than 14 million workers in the country last year, and the figure is expected to rise.

“The number of workers is expected to increase significantly, with the progress of various mega projects, such as the Pengerang Integrated Petroleum Complex in Johor, the Pan Borneo Highway in Sarawak, the East Coast Rail Line and the Singapore-KL High Speed Rail.

“We must find ways to encourage employers to help groom SHOs, as they need to obtain their certificate from a certified training provider such as NIOSH, and accumulate at least three years of experience before they can apply for a licence from DOSH,” he said after officiating the soft launch of the Conference and Exhibition on Occupational Safety and Health (COSH) at NIOSH’s headquarters in Bandar Baru Bangi here, this morning.

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