Lam Thye advocates HIRARC adoption for enhanced safety in tourism

KUALA LUMPUR: Tourism industry players and operators have been reminded to not neglect safety standards as the country gears towards achieving at least 18 million in international tourist arrivals this year, a social activist said.

Alliance For A Safe Community chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said adopting good Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) management is crucial in the tourism industry since it will bring a positive impact on the safety and protection of not only workers involved but also tourists.

"Safety in the tourism industry is all the more relevant now that the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry wants to bring in 18 million tourists targeted this year. It is all the more necessary to ensure good OSH practices in the tourism industry.

"Implementing OSH for the hospitality industry involves the practice of HIRARC, which is Hazard Identification, Risk Assessment and Risk Control. All places of work have hazards and risks which need to be addressed.

"It is incumbent upon those who are at the workplace to identify the hazards and risks and take safety measures to address them so that they will not give rise to accidents or deaths," said Lee in a statement today.

Industry players as well as operators in the tourism sector, he said, must take a serious view of the occurrence of accidents and fatalities involving tourists.

"Although accidents can and do happen, there are various measures that we can adopt to limit their occurrence. Accidents can be reduced if we make prudent and safe work practices as part of our culture.

"Meticulousness about safety must be a core value for both employers and employees. Safety and health must be transformed into a culture and not be accepted as just a priority," he said.

He said many resorts, hotels and chalet are providing their guests with outdoor activities like mountain climbing, hiking, scuba diving, snorkelling, water rafting, flying fox, bungee jumping and many more. These activities involve technical and high risks.

"Therefore, stringent standard operating procedures must be followed. Emergency Response Team as well as First Aiders must be fully prepared for any emergency.

"Tour guides also can be exposed to many occupational health and safety risks including physical, biological or psychosocial hazards that can cause serious risk to their health," he said.

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