SHAH ALAM,( Sept 17) — The Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) has urged the government to impose a heavier penalty on employers who neglect their workers’ safety, thus leading to workplace accidents and the deaths of employees.
Its deputy secretary-general, A. Balasubramaniam, said the MTUC viewed accidents at workplaces seriously and felt that there was a need for severe action to be taken against errant employers.
He said many work-related accidents in Malaysia drew public attention, with the recent one at an MRT project worksite in Kota Damansara, Selangor that claimed three lives.
Such incidents, he said, could be avoided if employers were to comply with the regulations on the safety, health and welfare of employees at workplaces as stipulated under the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994.
“MTUC is of the view that severe action must be taken against errant employers who are responsible for the death of workers and that a maximum penalty should be imposed as provided for by the law,” Balasubramaniam told BERNAMA.
Currently, an errant employer was liable to a fine of up to RM50,000 or imprisonment for a maximum of two years, or both, upon conviction, he said.
Balasubramaniam made reference to a case in Singapore where a construction company was fined SGD150,000 (about RM380,000) for breach of safety rules that resulted in a worker falling to his death.
The fine, he said, was believed to be the highest imposed on an employer for an offence under Section 12 of the Workplace Safety and Health Act.
He said the Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) should conduct thorough investigations on workplace accidents.—BERNAMA