The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) today urged employers to demonstrate their commitment to occupational safety and health, saying the overall responsibility for providing a safe and healthy work environment rests squarely on their shoulders.
NIOSH chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said this can be done by building and maintaining a preventive safety and health culture that addresses the principles of prevention, hazard identification, risk assessment and control, information and training.
He said workers, on the other hand, have a duty to cooperate with their employers in implementing the occupational safety and health programme as it is high time for employers and employees to be fully committed to workplace safety.
"They should observe and adhere to the procedures and other instructions designed to protect them and others present at the workplace from exposure to occupational hazards ?it must be emphasised that there should be no compromise.
"All work-related accidents and ill health can be prevented if there is adequate foresight, planning, organisation and commitment to identify where the hazards are, assess the risks and take action before an accident happens or an illness is contracted," he said in a statement.
Lee also said the fact that landslides and road cave-ins are a frequent occurrence points to the failure to make the culture of maintenance and safety a way of life.
"When buildings collapse or the environment is polluted or fatalities occur at workplaces, we are responsible, we cannot simply blame nature or the work tools ... we have to realise that any action that results in the degradation and destruction of our environment will have disastrous consequences," he said.
Lee said the fact that fatal accidents continue to occur on the roads and highways involving public transport vehicles as well as private ones clearly points to the need for more to be done to improve road safety and the attitude of those at the wheels.
He said that over the years, the government has spent billions of ringgit on development but what is regrettable is the lack of maintenance.
"This has to be rectified and every effort must be made to inculcate the culture of maintenance and safety and those who are placed in charge must never shirk their responsibility," he said.