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

‘It just did not meet safety standards’.

Wednesday, February 14th, 2018
PETALING JAYA: The cladding panels used on the exterior of the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) building in Jalan Gasing did not meet fire safety requirements, said Fire and Rescue Department deputy director-general Datuk Soiman Jahid.

Initial investigations revealed that the fire started on the first floor, where maintenance work was being carried out to the exterior of the building, he added.

“A spark ignited the cladding panels. Hot weather and strong wind were also factors in the spread of the fire to other parts of the building’s exterior.

“The Uniform Building Bylaws require buildings to be fitted with less flammable cladding panels. Using more flammable ones is a clear infringement,” he told reporters at the scene of the fire yesterday.

Soiman said that the material that was used in this case was polyethylene, which is more combustible.

“This incident is similar to the fire at Grenfell Tower in London last year where the use of flammable cladding panels was a key factor,” he said.

A total of 70 firemen were deployed to Jalan Gasing once the call was received.

“The fire spread mostly on the exterior of the building. We managed to put out the fire completely within 30 minutes,” he said.

Soiman announced that the department would conduct inspections on buildings nationwide, especially those with fire certificates.

Fiery incident: Firemen dousing the fire at the KWSP building in Jalan Gasing, Petaling Jaya. — AZHAR MAHFOF/The Star

“We will not renew fire certificates for buildings which use the more flammable cladding,” he said.

Soiman called on all building owners and administrators not to use the more flammable cladding panels.

“It maybe cheaper but in the end, if a fire occurs, the price is too high to pay especially if it involves the loss of lives.

“I urge building owners who have used the more flammable cladding panels to change them immediately. If you are unsure, contact us so we can assess whether the right cladding has been used,” he said.

Petaling Jaya deputy OCPD Supt Ku Mashariman Ku Mahmood said the police were on hand to assist fire fighters during the incident.

“We had to close some parts of the road leading to Jalan Gasing, so that the firefighters could put out the fire without any difficulties,” he said.

EPF officer Azmi Herizat, who has worked at the social security institution for 18 years, said it was the first time such a fire occurred there.

“I was on the first floor when I heard cables exploding. I thought nothing of it until I saw smoke coming out from a room on the first floor. My colleagues and I quickly ran outside to safety,” he said.

His co-worker Mohd Zawawi Ismail, who was manning the counters on the ground floor, said he initially thought the explosion-like sound was an accident on the Federal Highway.

“However, the smoke and burning smell made me realise it was a fire. I shouted at my colleagues and customers to leave immediately,” he said, adding that “the constant fire drills at the institution were a blessing as everyone knew where to go”.

EPF chief executive officer Datuk Shahril Ridza Ridzuan expressed gratitude to the Fire and Rescue Department for putting out the blaze quickly, and apologised to those affected by the incident.

He said the statutory body would immediately investigate the cause of the fire and assess safety measures for all its buildings and branches nationwide.

Shahril expressed concern that a spark on the external cladding had started the fire, adding that they would fully cooperate with the authorities.

Read more @

Niosh: It’s a matter of public interest.

Sunday, January 21st, 2018

PETALING JAYA: The public should be informed of crane-related incidents which resulted in deaths as these cases are a matter of public interest, says Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye (pic).

The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (Niosh) chairman said the authorities must be very stringent in monitoring and enforcing laws and regulations under the Factories and Machinery Act 1967 and the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994.

“Fatal accidents involving cranes at construction sites must not be taken lightly.

“Stern action must be taken against incompetent crane operators as safety aspects at construction sites must never be compromised,” he said in a statement.

“Periodical maintenance on all machinery must be carried out by all contractors. The authorities must also ensure that only certified crane operators are employed,” he said.

Since 1999, Niosh has been responsible for issuing certificates to competent crane handlers after they are assessed by the Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH).

To date, Niosh has issued 6,640 certificates to crane handlers.

DOSH said tower crane operators who fail to comply with strict safety regulations are subject to a RM200,000 fine, a jail term of up to five years, or both.

Its deputy director-general (occupational safety and health) Omar Mat Piah said it was the responsibility of project managers to ensure tower cranes had fully complied with all regulations.

Read more @

Spotlight on construction sites after crane death

Sunday, January 7th, 2018
A construction worker was killed and three others injured by a falling crane in Shah Alam on Tuesday. PIC COURTESY OF POLICE

THE incident on Tuesday — where an Indonesian construction worker was killed and three other migrant workers were injured after being hit by a falling construction crane in Shah Alam — has again raised concerns about safety in construction sites.

The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health supports the Selangor Department of Occupational Safety and Health’s (DOSH) action to issue a stop-work order on the construction site in Section 7 to facilitate an investigation.

The department’s preliminary investigation found failure in the structure of the machine and is carrying out further investigation.

Construction crane operators must be certified competent by DOSH, while companies operating cranes must register with DOSH.

The authorities must ensure that only certified crane operators are employed by contractors, while site officers must check on cranes daily

The authorities must monitor and enforce laws and regulations under the Factories and Machinery Act 1967 and the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) 1994.

The Construction Industry Development Board should investigate the latest incident and the public should be informed of the findings.

Action must be taken against crane operators who fail to operate cranes safely. Safety in construction sites must never be compromised.

Based on OSHA 1994, the main contractor, as the employer, is responsible for ensuring the safe use of the tower crane in construction sites.

The Factories and Machinery Act 1967 requires the tower crane to be installed, maintained and dismantled by a competent company that is registered with DOSH.

The company has to be appointed by the main contractor to carry out periodical maintenance of the crane.


Read more @

Make safety, maintenance a way of life

Tuesday, January 2nd, 2018
The frequent occurrences of landslides and road cave-ins point to the authorities’ failure to make maintenance and safety a priority. FILE PIC

AT the start of the new year, let every Ma-laysian resolve to make the country a safer place to live in, safe not only from terrorism, crime and violence but also from tragedies which are of our own doing, be they on the roads, in residential and public areas or at workplaces.

It is essential for people to take heed of one important lesson for humanity: that civilisation can be destroyed if it does not make peace with the environment.

The fact that landslides and road cave-ins are a frequent occurrence points to our failure to make the culture of maintenance and safety a way of life.

When buildings or structures collapse, or the environment is harmed, or accidents and fatalities occur at workplaces, we are responsible. We cannot simply blame nature or the work tools.

We have to realise that any action that results in the degradation and destruction of our environment will have disastrous consequences. Similarly, if we do not manage things efficiently, occupational safety and health accidents can occur at workplaces.

The fact that fatal accidents continue to occur on our roads and highways points to the need for more to be done to improve road engineering and safety, as well as the attitude and behaviour of those behind the wheel.

Over the years, the government has spent billions of ringgit on development, but what is regrettable is the lack of maintenance. This has to be rectified and every effort must be made to inculcate the culture of maintenance and safety. And, those who are placed in charge must not shirk their responsibility.

More funding should be allocated for maintenance to be carried out by the authorities, with dedicated staff to discharge their responsibilities.

On the political front, it is vital for Malaysia to continue to exist as a democratic, united and harmonious nation despite the existence of divergent political ideologies and views.

We need to address more aggressively the issues of racial integration, unity and nation-building, besides having to deal with crime, drug addiction and a host of social ills confronting our nation.

The plans to re-establish the Socio-Economic Research Institute under the Prime Minister’s Office and upgrade the Institute of Ethnic Studies at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia are timely as they will contribute towards the improvement of ethnic relations and chart out well-researched solutions to address socio-economic issues

We must also focus on the social agenda to deal with the social challenges in the new year.

We have to tackle the multifarious social problems in the country such as juvenile and cyber crime, illegal gambling, acts of violence, the worsening drug problem involving youths and teenagers, as well as those suffering from mental disorders.


Read more @

Niosh renews safety calls in wake of fatal Kuching construction site accident

Tuesday, December 26th, 2017
(File pix) Niosh chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye made the call following the mishap at a flood mitigation project construction site near Padang Merdeka here.

KUCHING: A fatal construction site accident here on Tuesday has prompted the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (Niosh) to urge contractors to adopt stricter workplace occupational safety and health (OSH) measures.

Niosh chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye made the call following the mishap at a flood mitigation project construction site near Padang Merdeka here.

A 28-year-old man was killed when the motorcycle he was riding plunged into a one metre-deep hole at the construction site.

Passersby alerted the police when they spotted the victim’s body floating inside the watery hole at 6.30am.

Lee said developers and contractors must adopt the hazard identification, risk assessment and risk control (HIRARC) principle for their operations to avoid accidents.

“HIRARC can help construction supervisors identify hazards and risks, as well as formulate ways to avoid them.

“The contractor should place a clear warning signboard at strategic locations surrounding a construction site.

“There should be barriers placed along the construction site to prevent vehicles from entering the area. And if the construction of the project is time-consuming, contractors should consider installing concrete barriers.


Read more @

OSH keeps sports events safe

Sunday, December 17th, 2017
Runner Amiruddin Hamid was injured in the Klang Marathon on Dec 10. (FILE PIX)

THE incident where three marathon runners were struck from behind by a car in Klang should act as a reminder to those involved in sports activities about the importance of maintaining the safety of organising staff and participants.

It is sad to note that we wait for a tragedy to happen before we discover our shortfalls

I have to stress that occupational safety and health (OSH) in sports is crucial.

Now that the Youth and Sports Ministry wants to promote a healthy lifestyle through programmes and events, we need to ensure OSH in sports.

People’s excitement about sporting activities has been boosted by the Kuala Lumpur Sea Games and Kuala Lumpur Asean Para Games.

National Sports Day, celebrated on the second Saturday of every October, aims to make Malaysia a sporting nation.

It was reported that the ministry had empowered the public to organise sports activities and they were encouraged to register their programmes at www.

Therefore, those involved in sports should adopt OSH management and practices to reduce accidents and health problems in the sector.

The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health is ready to assist those in the sector to implement OSH management.

Although deaths and severe injuries do not occur every day in sports, the risks exist.

Accidents can be prevented if those involved, especially the authorities and the organisers, adopt an OSH management system based on the concept of hazard identification, risk assessment and risk control.

It is incumbent on the agencies involved and the organisers to identify and address hazards and risks.

I hope that the authorities can tighten safety procedures and ensure that organisers of ma-rathons and similar races abide by them.

The organisers must get approvals from the local authorities, traffic police, Sports Commissioner’s Office (SCO) and Malaysia Athletics Federation (MAF).

The ministry and MAF should prepare guidelines for organisers and the conditions for obtaining the permit, and approved events must be uploaded onto a website.

For example, organisers must ensure that the routes are illuminated while traffic should
be dispersed away from the routes.

The safety of marathon runners must be ensured before races begin, while the safety of routes must be monitored.

Safety signs must be provided for marathon races and there must be road marshals and other safety personnel to keep participants and spectators safe.

The organisers of the mara-thon should be responsible for the safety of participants.


Read more @

NIOSH urges better safety, health management in tourism sector

Sunday, November 26th, 2017
(File pix) National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said OSH management in the tourism industry is crucial as it will definitely bring positive impact to the safety and protection of not only the workers involved but also tourists. Pix by Aziah Azmee

KUALA LUMPUR: The tourism sector should adopt good Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) management and practices to reduce the number of accidents and health problems in the sector.

National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said OSH management in the tourism industry is crucial as it will definitely bring positive impact to the safety and protection of not only the workers involved but also tourists.

“The recent incident where 16 Chinese tourists and their guide were injured when the bus they were travelling in skidded and crashed should serve to remind once again all those involved in the industry the importance of occupational safety and health (OSH)

“The victims in the incident were lucky as they only suffered from minor injuries” he said in a statement today.

In the incident last Tuesday, 13 women and three men, aged between 24 and 76 were on their way to Kota Kinabalu when the bus they were travelling in skidded and crashed into a drain along the Beaufort – Papar road.

Lee pointed out that good OSH practices in the tourism industry is all the more important now that the Tourism and Culture Ministry had targeted 36 million tourist arrivals in 2020.

“If all those in the tourism industry adhere to this concept, they will certainly take proactive steps to prevent accidents or illness from happening and ultimately help reduce the number of cases every year.

“NIOSH is ready to assist the tourism industry to implement the concept as it is part of its role to provide training, give consultation, disseminate information and conduct research on OSH,” said Lee, a veteran activist.

Based on the Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) information, 42 accidents in the hotel and restaurant sector were reported nationwide in the first seven months of the year.

Last year, 87 accidents and 3 deaths were reported in the hotel and restaurant sector, with two of the accidents involving permanent disability.

“Although accidents do occur in the tourism industry from time to time, we do not have the actual number of statistics because the sector is widespread and relevant data was collected by different agencies.

“It is important for us to have complete statistics so that better planning can be made to address this issue in the future,” he said.

At the same time, Lee noted that NIOSH has already embarked on various OSH programmes with the private sector and state governments, especially in Sabah and Johor.

Citing an example, he said the NIOSH regional office in Sabah has implemented many programmes for the tourism industry since 2013.

These included OSH awareness and defensive driving seminar for tour bus drivers, courses on basic water safety, basic first aid and security induction training for tourism industry workers.

NIOSH is also promoting the “Vision Zero” concept for the industry, in line with the global movement led by the International Social Security Association (ISSA).

“The pursuit of Vision Zero is not about achieving zero accidents but to find solutions to help prevent injuries and ill health

“ISSA has launched Vision Zero campaign at the 21st World Congress on Safety and Health at Work in Singapore early September and it was the first ever global campaign to improve safety, health and well being at work,” he said.


Read more @

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.”


Read more @

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.
Read more @

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.

Read more @