‘Investing in safety makes good business sense’

SAFETY at workplaces can help enterprises to prosper their ventures, said National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye.

He said if companies maintained a high standard of safety at their workplaces, it would reduce risk and result in savings that would translate into higher profit margin.

“We want entrepreneurs to realise that investing money, time and energy into high safety standards would benefit their businesses in the long run.

“It is also a strong message to send out that safety is part of the company’s corporate identity.”

Lee told reporters after delivering his keynote address at a seminar conducted by NIOSH and attended by over 80 tourism operators at The Frangipani Langkawi Resort and Spa in Langkawi.

The seminar was organised by Persatuan Niagakawi (Langkawi Business Association) and supported by the Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) Kedah/Perlis chapter.

Lee said the purpose of the seminar was to effect the buy-in of the occupational safety and health concept among the tourism operators and for them to take ownership of it within their organisations later on.

“Having this seminar is a positive step taken to help increase the awareness of safety and health in the area of hospitality.

“Safety and health is everyone’s responsibility and should be a core value and be made a culture amongst Malaysians,” he said.

Niagakawi president Anthony Wong, the managing director of Frangipani Resort & Spa, said Langkawi must rise up to the occasion with higher occupational safety and health standards to ensure the safety of tourists if it were to aspire to become a world tourist destination.

He said the current awareness seminar would hopefully lay the foundation for best practices for occupational safety and health safety for this tourism industry.

Datuk I. Alexander, the deputy president of Niagakawi and founder of Tropical Charters Langkawi, said Langkawi had a lot to learn from Sabah which had successfully implemented a Sabah safety passport.

“We want to raise awareness and then educate tourism operators on the merits of adopting occupational safety and health within their workplaces and also to ensure safety of tourists visiting here,” he said, claiming that many accidents were not reported for fear of losing business.

According to national statistics given by Perkeso, there has been a drop of occupational accidents from 81,810 reported cases in 2002 to 63,557 reported cases in 2013.

Also present at the seminar ‘The Role of Employers and Employees for a More Effective Management of Occupational Safety and Health’ and ‘Basic Water Safety’ were MAH Kedah/Perlis chapter chairman Yap Lip Seng and NIOSH director Andrew Anthony.

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