Over 40,000 work accidents reported last year, says minister

John Bunyan
Human Resource Minister M. Kulasegaran visits the booths during the Occupational Safety and Health Week at the Malay-Sino Chemical Industries Sdn Bhd plant in Ipoh July 28, 2018. ― Picture by Marcus Pheong

IPOH, July 28 — Malaysia had 42,513 reported cases of workplace accidents in 2017 alone, said Human Resource Minister M. Kulasegaran today.

In his speech for the national-level Occupational Safety and Health Week at the Malay-Sino Chemical Industries Sdn Bhd plant here, Kulasegaran said this translated to around 116 cases each day.

“What we concerned most is that there is at least two accidental death cases every day, which is equivalent to 711 accidental death cases in a year,” he said.

Kulasegaran urged all employees, employers and non-governmental organisations to cooperate in organising programmes to minimise such accidents.

“The principle of Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994 says that the responsibility of making sure safety and health in the workplace are in the hands of the people who create the risk and the ones who work with the risk.

“In this case, the people who create the risk are the employers and the person who work with the risk are employees. Therefore, self-regulation concept is vital to be understood and applied in the workplace,” he said.

“Both the employers and employees must be able to identify the danger in the workplace, conduct risk analyses and, most importantly, must have effective risk control,” he added.

Kulasegaran also pointed out that, according to the Control of Industrial Major Hazard Regulations, factory operators must inform occupants nearby about the possible risk they might encounter if any accident occurs.

He also urged local authorities to prepare and update the outdoor emergency plans in order to face any situation or accidents that may affect people living near factories.

In line with the government's commitment to carry out direct enforcement and eliminate corruption, Kulasegaran said that the Safety and Health Department conducted 137,559 checks on workplace and machinery from January to June this year.

“Based on the amount, 15,759 notice had been issued, 315 offences were compounded and 123 cases were brought to court,” he said.

Earlier, about 500 Malay-Sino Chemical Industries Sdn Bhd workers attended the closing ceremony of the national-level Occupation Safety and Health week.