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

‘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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Niosh calls for safety audits on schools over 20 years

Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

Tawau: The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Hazard (Niosh) has urged the Government to undertake safety audits on schools over 20 years old every two years.

Its Chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said these would allow repair work to be done periodically on schools facing problems such as wiring and wall defects after a period of time.

He said it should be the Government’s priority as there are five million students and 421,828 educators in 7,772 primary schools and 2,408 secondary schools nationwide.

“Schools should be looked at as a workplace, not just a place to learn…thus, the aspect of security and safety must be taken seriously and without compromise,” he said.

Lee said this to reporters after launching the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) at SM St Patrick, here, Monday.

The programme is in collaboration with the Education Ministry, District Education Office and sponsored by Hap Seng Consolidated Bhd.

Towards this end, Lee urged schools to implement OSH at schools to raise the awareness of students on the safety aspects of their surroundings.

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NIOSH suggests tourism, hospitality industry to embrace safety culture

Wednesday, February 1st, 2017

KOTA KINABALU: The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has suggested to all those involved with the tourism and hospitality industry to embrace the safety culture.

Its chairman, Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said the industry must implement the concept of Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) at work and also for the safety of the public.

He said implementing OSH for the hospitality industry involves the practice of HIRARC which is Hazard Identification, Risk Assessment and Risk Control.

“All places of work have hazards and risks which need to be addressed. It is incumbent upon those who are at the workplace to identify the hazards and risks. Take safety measures to address them so that it will not give rise to accidents or deaths.

“It is time for all those involved in the tourism and hospitality industry to take a serious view of the frequent occurrence of accidents and fatalities involving tourist as well as the public, in various parts of the country,” he said in the wake of the catamaran tragedy.

He said the tragedy should be a wake-up call to all those involved in the industry to take a very serious view of safety issues and take all necessary to prevent accident.

“Those involved in the hospitality industry such as tour and hotel operators, food and entertainment establishments have to take a serious view of the frequent occurrence of accidents and fatalities involving not only their employees but also the tourists and the public.

“This is the holiday period and many domestic and foreign visitors will flock to holiday resorts and spend time with family members and friends.

“It is essential for those involved in the hospitality industry to take all necessary measures to make the holiday outings accident-free,” Lee said in a statement, yesterday.

OSH plays an important part in the hospitality and tourism industry to prevent accidents and injuries and fatalities. If OSH is not practiced, it can lead to accidents resulting in injuries or even deaths, he pointed out.

“Commitment to health and safety makes good business sense for tour operators and those involved in the hospitality industry to prevent accidents involving their guests and employees.

“Although accidents can and do happen, there are various measures that we can adopt to limit their occurrence. Accidents can be reduced if we make prudent and cautious work practices part of our culture.

“Meticulousness about safety must be a core value for both employers and employees. Safety and health must be transformed into a culture and not be accepted as just a priority,” he said.

Many resorts, hotels and chalet are providing their guests with outdoor activities like mount climbing, hiking, scuba diving, snorkelling, water rafting, flying fox, wall climbing, bungee jumping and many more. These activities involve technical and high risks. The procedure and Emergency Response Team as well as First Aider are needed for any emergency.

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Lee urges annual safety audit for old buildings

Monday, October 31st, 2016


KOTA KINABALU: A safety audit for all old buildings should be made mandatory to safeguard the public. That was the call made by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in the wake of deadly blaze at a hospital this week.

“The fire at Hospital Sultanah Aminah in Johor, which claimed six lives, is a wake-up call for us,” NIOSH chairman, Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye told a press conference at the Sabah NIOSH office here, yesterday.

He said the public interest demanded that an annual safety audit be made compulsory for all buildings more than 50 years old to ensure they were safe for occupancy.

The government, he added, should not be stingy in providing funds to maintain buildings, particularly hospitals and schools.

“Maintenance of old buildings is crucial,” he said, adding that budget constraints should not be allowed to compromise the safety of premises.

Lee said the government had been talking about transformation. “And so I hope there will be transformation in the maintenance culture,” he said.


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Only wisdom and integrity can save the day

Thursday, September 1st, 2016

WHAT can the authorities say that can erase the pain and fill the void in the lives of those who mourn Joice Chin Khoon Sing?

Probably nothing. Words cannot bring back the young woman whose life was snatched away last Thursday evening when a large crane hook fell and struck her car as she was driving along Jalan Raja Chulan in Kuala Lumpur.

In situations like this, even well-meaning statements can add to the anger, sadness and anxiety over the senseless mishap.

Department of Occupational Safety and Health director-general Datuk Mohtar Musri, for example, pointed out that there were over 600 construction sites in the Klang Valley but the department had only 12 safety inspectors in Kuala Lumpur to cover those places.

“We are conducting as many inspections as possible, including spot-checks. But no matter how much we are able to do, people will still say that it is not enough because of the increasing number of construction sites,” he said.

Shah Alam mayor Datuk Ahmad Zaharin told StarMetro that it was difficult to continuously monitor construction work.

“We even ask for the credentials of heavy machinery operators, but there is no way of knowing if others are operating them as well,” he added.

We have heard such things before. They are the verbal equivalents of throwing one’s hands up in the air or the shrugging of one’s shoulders. Such expressions of helplessness give us zero comfort.

Neither are we much encouraged by the typical flurry of stop-work orders and investigations every time a worksite accident becomes a news item. We often hear calls for strong action and in response, there are pledges to find out what has gone wrong and take the necessary steps.

Sometimes, the investigations are wrapped up fast enough – that is, before we lose interest and move on to other issues – and the relevant government agencies announce the findings, identify the culprits and mete out penalties. At other times, we do not know the outcome of these cases.

The Star Says.

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