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Thursday, 18 May 2017

Accidents at work being covered up

JOHOR BARU: There are still many employers, mainly in the small and medium scale industries (SMIs), covering up accidents or “near-misses” at their workplaces.

National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye, who said this, added that a study done with two local universities found that only 20% of such accidents were reported to the Occupational Safety and Health Department (DOSH).

He said the study, based on cases from 2009 to 2014, showed that 31,347 accidents occurred at workplaces nationwide with only 787 of them reported to DOSH.

“On average, the total number of accidents recorded at Socso is 10 times higher than the reports received by DOSH.

“There is a huge gap and this needs to be addressed,” he told reporters at the Johor World Occupational Safety and Health Day celebration here yesterday.

Lee said many cases which did not involve the loss of life went unreported as the employers were probably afraid of action from the authorities.

He also cited lack of awareness among employers as one reason why cases were being “hidden”.

Lee said multinational companies usually reported the occurrences but the practice was still uncommon among SMIs.

He said manufacturing was the sector with the highest number of accidents, followed by construction and transportation.

Under the Employees Social Security Act 1969, employers are given 48 hours to report workplace accidents to Socso.

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