Room for improvement in OSH


ACCORDING to statistics from the Social Security Organisation (Socso), Malaysia’s industrial accident rate has reduced by 35.8% per 1,000 workers between 2011 and 2020.

The industrial accident rate per 1,000 workers in 2020 was 2.18 as compared to 2.4 in 2011.

This reduction in the accident rate at the workplace is a reflection of the commitment and joint efforts by the government, employers and employees to reduce workplace accidents.

While we are pleased to note the success of the joint efforts by all parties concerned, the challenge to further reduce the accident rate remains, as well as inculcating the culture of occupational safety and health (OSH) in order to contribute towards an accident-free work environment.

Companies must not profit at the expense of safety because if accidents occur, lives may be lost and productivity will be affected.

OSH ownership in every organisation is of paramount importance.

An accident prevention coupled with an OSH management strategy should therefore be adopted by all companies. To achieve the total promotion of safety and health at work and elsewhere, organisational measures for accident prevention, motivation and behavioural change must be adopted.

It is the responsibility of management to ensure that safety is a culture at their organisation, not just a priority. There is an urgent need to translate OSH knowledge into behaviour and practical application.

OSH sloganeering is not the answer. We must avoid a situation where, behind all the OSH banners and signage, the workplace hazards are not addressed and controlled.

In this time of global competition and sweeping change, it is not enough for companies to make safety a priority. Priorities change but cultures stand the test of time. Safety must be a culture and a core value at the workplace.

Management or employers must recognise OSH of employees as an investment and not an expense. Concerns for the bottom line must be looked at with equal gravity with OSH issues at the workplace. After all, they are both concerned with the viability of the business enterprise.

Employees are often regarded by management to be the most important asset of any organisation. Hence, it makes sense that this particular asset should be protected in terms of health and safety, and nurtured to ensure that it continues to be productive.

In any business enterprise, the issue of preserving and retaining employees is most urgent. Management must now step back and take a hard look at their asset and actively show how much they value their employees with a responsible OSH policy backed up by the necessary organisation and systems to implement accident prevention programmes.

TAN SRI LEE LAM THYE

Chairman

Alliance For A Safe Community

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