National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye (second, left), however, believed that there are rooms for Malaysia to improve its OSH standards as the country progresses ahead to become a high-income nation soon. (pix by NADIM BOKHARI)

KUCHING: Over the years, Malaysia has emerged as one of the top countries in the Southeast Asia region with good occupational safety and health (OSH) management.

National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye, however, believed that there are rooms for Malaysia to improve its OSH standards as the country progresses ahead to become a high-income nation soon.

Lee reckoned that companies operating in Malaysia must continue intensifying efforts to create awareness on good OSH culture to reduce number of industrial accidents, which will reflect the country’s productivity.

“Although Malaysia can be proud of its OSH standards compare to neighbouring countries, we must admit that there are more rooms for improvements.

“Malaysia can do more to bring its OSH standards to a higher level.

“This can be achieved by creating awareness on good OSH practices via campaigns, seminars and training courses,” said Lee in his speech during the launching of a seminar on management of OSH and the environment here today.

Present were NIOSH Certification Sdn Bhd Board of Directors member Nik Nasbi Fathi Nik Husain Fathi and TM Tech Academy (M) Sdn Bhd managing director Richard Song Swee Jin.

A total of 68 participants represented government agencies and private sectors attended the seminar.

According to interim reports prepared by the Social Security Organisation (SOCSO), Lee said a total of 35,304 cases of industrial accidents were reported last year, which is an a three per cent increase compared to the number of cases recorded the previous year.

The number of commuting accidents, meanwhile, recorded a 10 per cent increase from 28,579 cases in 2015 to 31,314 cases last year.

Hence, Lee said establishing safe working culture within a particular organisation will not only help to reduce industrial accidents but also improve morale of employees since their safety are being looked after.

He also praised multi-national companies operating in Malaysia, which have adopted safe working culture by implementing good OSH practices, which should be emulated by other organisations.

“We can do it (establishing safety working culture) step by step,” he said.

Lee later handed over the Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems (Ohsas) 18001: 2007 certificate to Trac Wheels (M) Sdn Bhd.

He also witnessed the signing of Memorandum of Understanding between NIOSH Certification Sdn Bhd and TM Tech Academy to promote awareness on OSH and environment management systems in Sarawak.