Three companies fined for negligence over workplace accidents

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 01 Aug 2019

IPOH: Representatives from three different companies pleaded guilty in a Sessions Court here to being negligent and causing injuries to their workers.

Representing the companies were S. Chanthravarnam, the senior manager of United Plantations Bhd, UIE Estates; Yip Swee Kuen, the operations director of Imperial Garments Sdn Bhd; and Liew Kok Weng, the director for Sirijaya Industries Sdn Bhd.

All three pleaded guilty separately in front of judge Norashima Khalid.

The three representatives were charged under Section 15 (1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994, which upon conviction provides for a fine of not more than RM50, 000, a jail sentence of not more than two years, or both, under Section 19 of the Act.

In the charge sheet for United Plantations, it was stated that on Feb 21 at about 2pm at the plantation in Pantai Remis, the company failed to ensure safety, health and welfare at the workplace, resulting in an accident.

A 40-year-old worker from Bangladesh, Mohamamd Achkan Ali, had the middle finger of his left hand severed when it was pinched between a safety barricade and the body static of a trailer while transferring sacks filled with fertilisers.

Occupational Safety and Health Department (DOSH) prosecuting officer Rashidah Hamdan said if the company had followed the proper standard operating procedures (SOP), the incident could have been prevented.

“I hope the court will impose a heavy sentence to ensure employers, especially those in the plantation sectors using heavy machinery will be more alert and careful in the future, ” she added.

Counsel Norazali Nor Din said by pleading guilty, his client had saved the court a lot of time as well as cost.

He said the company had also taken necessary measures to update its SOP.

United Plantations was fined RM15, 000 in default six months' jail. The fine was paid.

In the case against Imperial Garments, the facts of the case stated that an accident occurred on Nov 26, last year at about 1.45pm. Muhammad Zarul Ikmal Bahaudin, 20, a mechanic, suffered second-degree burns on the upper side of his left hand while checking and repairing a machine at the factory located at the Tasek Industrial Estate.

In the case against Sirijaya Industries, a steel works company, the facts of the charge sheet said that on Feb 8 this year about 2.10pm, an operator by the name of V. Venkateswara, 18, had the ring and middle fingers of his right hand severed.

His hand got caught on the spinning chain of a machine at the factory located at the IGB International Industrial Park in Chemor.

Mudzaffar Anwar Hussin, who prosecuted the Imperial Garments and Sirijaya Industries cases, said the two companies had failed to ensure the safety of their machines.

He requested a heavy sentence to ensure there was no repeat in the future.

Imperial Garments was fined RM15, 000 in default six months’ jail, while Sirijaya was fined RM17, 000 in default six months’ jail. Both companies paid the fine.

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