PUTRAJAYA (Bernama): Workers should be brave in lodging reports if their employers fail to provide appropriate workplace safety protection, said Deputy Minister of Human Resources Datuk Mahfuz Omar.
"Many workers are too afraid to come forward now for fear of losing their jobs,” he said.
Mahfuz said the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) 1994 will be amended to be a "game changer" for the enforcement of safety rules.
Through the amendment, the ministry will try to inculcate self-enforcement among employers and employees as the Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) did not have enough enforcement personnel for nationwide inspections.
The deputy minister , who is also chairman of National Council for Occupational Safety and Health, also admitted that the ministry was not satisfied with the workplace accident rate in the country.
He added that public awareness on the importance of self-enforcement to ensure occupational safety was still low.
“Employers should not focus only on making profit and give little attention to occupational safety in their organisations as they too can fall victims to industrial accidents."
Mahfuz said the amendment is expected to be tabled in the Dewan Rakyat next month.
It will also empower the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health Institute (NIOSH) in providing training, advisory services and research and development (R&D) to the government and the industry.
“The coverage of the Act will be more comprehensive and we will also have enablers so that we can make more specific rules under certain circumstances or if necessary.
“We are also looking at a massive change in the penalty. The amendment will also provide protection to members of the media,” he told a press conference after opening the Conference and Exhibition on Occupational Safety and Health 2018) here Monday (Sept 24).
Earlier in his speech, Mahfuz said the ministry aimed to reduce the industrial accident rate to 2.53 for every 1,000 workers and workplace death rate to 4.36 for every 100,000 workers by 2020. - Bernama
Did you find this article insightful?