OSHMO - Official Portal

Upgrade fire safety in schools

Tuesday, 31 Jul 2018 - MIRI: Many schools in Sarawak that cater to rural students and boarders have been found to be lacking in fire-safety aspects.

Local politicians are calling for urgent checks, especially on wiring, to be carried out in all primary and secondary schools throughout Sarawak.

Puncak Borneo MP Willie Mongin said the state government and the Education Ministry must work together on the matter.

“The tragic death of 25-year-old teacher Catherine Janet Tiwi in the teachers quarters at SK Batu Bungan in Mulu last Thursday showed that many of the wooden buildings are fire-risks.

“Get the Fire and Rescue Department and Department of Safety and Health (Niosh) to conduct on-the-spot inspections,” he said.

Julau MP Larry Sng said checks of all important safety aspects of the buildings must be carried out, adding that he had raised such concerns before.

Teo (centre) handed over a contribution to the Tiwi Nios (left) and Wency Seimon, the parents of teacher Catherine Janet Tiwi who died in the fire after saving two of her colleagues. — Bernama
Teo (in white blouse) visited SK Batu Bungan in Mulu last Saturday.

“Safety facilities such are fire escapes, safety switches, fire-proof wiring, hydrants and extinguishers must be put in place.

Sng said the most common found in rural schools is unsafe wiring and blocked fire-escape routes and stariways.

He said many of the schools also do not have fire alarms.

The lack of safety features endangers the lives of people in the event of fires, he stressed, adding that Sarawak has at least 500 primary and secondary schools that are in needed of urgent repairs.

Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching visited SK Batu Bungan on Saturday and said she will forward a proposal to the ministry to channel funds immediately to SK Batu Bungan Parents-Teachers Association to carry out repairs of the building destroyed in the fire.

She said her ministry is looking into the safety issues of all schools in Sarawak.

“Our ministry is concerned about these issues in schools.

“The tragic fire that caused the death of Catherine must not occur again in our schools,” she said.

Teo said the ministry needs to work out the budget required to repair all schools in the state and country.

Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/metro/metro-news/2018/07/31/upgrade-fire-safety-in-schools-officials-say-rural-institutions-need-urgent-improvements/#zW5jsXMOrvS62S2R.99

Safety training for media a must

Thursday, 26 Jul 2018 -  JOHOR BARU: Media practitioners are urged to take safety seriously and to have appropriate safety training to ensure they stay safe when covering high risks events.

National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said NIOSH was looking forward to work with media organisations to hold training programmes for local media practitioners.

“NIOSH is also seeking feedback from various media organisations and journalists’ unions to draw up suitable induction training modules known as ‘Safety Passports’ for media practitioners,” he said during the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) programme for the media at the NIOSH southern region headquarters in Senai.

The OSH for Media programme is an initiative by NIOSH to raise awareness among the media on safety and health issues while doing their job.

“The International Code of Practice for the Safe Conduct of Journalism states that media personnel must be informed about the political, physical, and social terrain where they are working.

“They should also be properly equipped for all assignments, including the provision of first aid materials, communication tools, adequate transport facilities and where necessary, personal protective equipment,” he said.

He said according to a report by the International Federation of Journalists, at least 81 journalists were killed last year while on assignment.

He added that NIOSH had also received reports, which showed that employers did not observe the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994 (Act 514) and that the level of awareness among journalists was at a minimal level.

“The tragic incident where Bernama TV cameraman, Noramfaizul Mohd Nor, was killed while covering a humanitarian aid mission in Somalia in 2011 shows the importance of OSH among the media,” he said.

Lee said the Department of Occupational Safety and Health under the Ministry of Human Resources had introduced the Guidelines for Media Professionals following the incident.

“The guidelines act as a safe work procedure for the media while doing their coverage in dangerous zones.

“The job of the journalist is to tell the story, not become the story.

“A journalist who puts him or herself needlessly at risk is behaving in an unprofessional manner and could ultimately prevent the story from being told or the picture being seen,” he said.

Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/metro/metro-news/2018/07/26/safety-training-for-media-a-must-says-lee/#eh5WOypcjtCldJiO.99

Safety for all

Sunday, 10 Jun 2018 - 

THE Malaysian Society for Occupational Safety and Health (MOSH) celebrated an Occupational, Safety and Health event throughout Malaysia.

They organised the largest safety briefing toolbox talks.

The aim of this event was to advise the workers about safety precautions that need to be applied at every company such as factories, shops, schools, hospitals, clinics and many more.

About 52, 490 participants took part in 800 different locations around the country.

The event was held from 8am until 11am throughout the country. The command centre was at Universiti Teknologi Mara in Shah Alam.

SMK (P) Bukit Kuda Klang took the opportunity to take part. It was organised by the school’s Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) including its president Saad Ismail, committee member Dr Mimita Magendra and school principal Rubiah Hayat.

The teachers, clerks, laboratory assistants and guards also took part as they are the people most at risk of injury while in school. The students were not involved as they are well taken care off.

The World OSH Day celebration was initially celebrated in April 2003 for the first time by the International Labour Organisation.

Each participant was given a tagging number by MOSH. The number was to be held by them and a photo was required to be taken as a group.

The school would be listed in the Malaysia Book of Records and receive a certificate.

Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/news/education/2018/06/10/safety-for-all/#BKljgQcVVlGcYEJG.99

Keeping young workers safe

Saturday, 28 Apr 2018 -  TODAY is World Day for Safety and Health at Work, which is also known as World Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Day 2018 in Malaysia.

On this day every year, government, employers and workers’ organisations worldwide are encouraged to conduct awareness-raising activities within their areas of influence to reduce accidents and ill-health at the workplace.

It started in 1996 when trade unions worldwide observed April 28 as a date to commemorate dead and injured workers. In 2003, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) became involved in the campaign upon the request of trade unions and has since then capitalised on its traditional strengths of tripartism and social dialogue to help promote this special day.

World OSH Day is also an annual event to increase awareness about how to make work safe and healthy as well as to raise the profile of OSH in the respective countries.

Themed “Generation Safe & Healthy”, this year’s commemoration is in line with ILO’s aim to secure safe working environments for all workers by 2030 and end all forms of child labour by 2025.

According to ILO, some 541 million young workers aged between 15 and 24 years old account for more than 15% of the world’s labour force and suffer up to a 40% higher rate of non-fatal occupational injuries than adult workers. These young workers include 37 million children working in hazardous conditions.

We must also highlight the risks facing young workers in Malaysia and address these challenges by improving the safety and health aspect for them.

Under the Children and Young Persons (Employment) (Amend­ment) Act 2010, the definition of a “child” is a person below 16 years old while a “young person” is a person who is aged between 16 and 18 years old.

Under the amended Act, children and young people should not engage in any hazardous work and should not be allowed to be engaged in employment contrary to the Factories and Machinery Act 1967, the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994 or the Electricity Supply Act 1990 or in any employment requiring them to work underground.

Since they are new to the workplace, most of these young workers lack knowledge, experience and maturity. Many of them may not be aware of the risks they face at the workplace.

Other factors that may put young workers at greater risk include insufficient skills and training, lack of awareness of their rights and their employer’s duties, not having the confidence to speak out and employers not recognising the additional protection that young workers need.

It is the employer’s responsibility to protect the safety and health of workers and they should pay particular attention to young workers. They must carry out a risk assessment exercise before a young person starts work and put in place measures to protect them.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) 1994, it is the responsibility of both employers and their workers to ensure safety and health at the workplace and those who fail to do so could be charged in court.

Employers and contractors who fail to provide a safe and healthy working environment for their employees can be charged under Section 15 of OSHA 1994, which carries a maximum sentence of a RM50,000 fine, or two years’ jail, or both.

Young workers must also be given work appropriate to their age and provided with adequate training and supervision.

Employers should promote a strong safety culture and involve young workers in safety matters.

One of the main problems facing the industrial sector in Malaysia, especially the manufacturing and services industries, is the over reliance on foreign workers. As a result, the training and development of young employees have been neglected.

Young workers must undergo professional training such as those offered by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and apprenticeship programme that could help improve their knowledge and skills.

It would eventually help reduce work-related accidents and illnesses, which could become an economic burden on workers and their families as well as on enterprises and on society as a whole.

There is clear evidence that a healthy workforce can enhance business productivity, benefit enterprises and national economies by reducing the number of accidents and diseases and lowering the number of insurance and compensation claims.

I believe our people should also be exposed to a good safety and health culture at a young age, and this is one of the main reasons why NIOSH has brought the OSH culture to school.

Under its “OSH in School” programme, for example, NIOSH aims to educate and create OSH awareness among students, who could then act as the eyes and ears of the school management in hazard identification, risk assessment and risk control (HIRARC).

With adequate OSH knowledge and awareness, students who leave school will have practical safety knowledge that they can take with them when they join the workforce.

Malaysia is among a few countries in the world that has introduced OSH in schools and I am confident the efforts to promote good OSH culture at a young age could help create a safe and healthy generation.

Ultimately, when OSH is integrated into the community, it will become a core value and contribute towards the achievement of an OSH culture at all workplaces.



National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health

Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/opinion/letters/2018/04/28/keeping-young-workers-safe/#lCXqRXMYyLpBqZbs.99

Ensuring safety at construction sites in Johor

GELANG PATAH: Johor Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) aims to reduce the number of fatalities at construction sites by ensuring safety measures were in place.

Its director, Saiful Azhar Mohd Said, said there were 45 workplace-related fatalities reported in Johor last year, of which 27 cases were at construction sites.

In 2016, he said, there were 40 fatalities at workplaces, half at construction sites.

“It is rather worrying as 50% of workplace-related fatalities in Johor were at construction sites,” Saiful said after presenting a lost-time injury free certificate to Giant Leap Sdn Bhd here.

Saiful said last year, the department had charged 17 building contractors for various offences committed at construction sites and the penalties totalled RM172,000.

During the same period, 80 compounds were issued to 25 contractors at high-rise development projects in the Johor Baru district for failing to observe safety guidelines and procedures.

“To date, there are 1,100 sites in the state with thousands of workers and we will continuously monitor construction sites in Johor,’’ he said.

Saiful said the fatal accidents at the construction sites included falls from high places, lifting of heavy materials, malfunctioning machinery and non-competent workforce.

He said the high number of construction sites in Johor was due to vast development in Iskandar Malaysia and the integrated petrochemical complex in Pengerang, Kota Tinggi.

“There are some 70,000 workers in Pengerang petrochemical complex alone and 8,000 in Forest City project,’’ said Saiful.

He said more workforce would be needed in Johor for the construction of four major infrastructure projects scheduled to take place within the next five to 10 years.

The multi-billion ringgit projects include the High Speed Rail, Johor Baru-Singapore Rail Transit Link, Gemas-Johor Baru double-tracking electrified train project and Iskandar Malaysia Bus Rapid Transit.

Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/metro/metro-news/2018/03/14/ensuring-safety-at-construction-sites-in-johor-dosh-aims-to-reduce-fatalities-especially-with-more-m/#bRIZ43MMFBiEWWEV.99