Job Seeker Handbook
5. OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH ACT
5.3 The Written Safety and Health Policy
- The following describes the essential ingredients for the written Safety and Health Policy as required by law.
- The written policy is divided into 3 main parts, namely :
- General Policy Statement
- The General Policy Statement concerns with the overall intent of the employer to look after the safety and health of the workforce. This statement can be simple and brief. Essentially it should :
- point out that the management accept responsibility for safety and health of the employees and others who may be affected by the work activities
- a summary of the policy's goals
- emphasize the importance of safety and health to overall business performance
- include a reference to other parts of the policy document which go into more details and
- be dated and signed by the person at the top management in the organization such as the Chairman or Managing Director.
- The second part of the policy on Organization should describe the safety and health responsibilities. This is primarily about the role of each person. Among others it should include :
- the list of safety and health responsibilities of all levels of management
- the role of employees in the implementation of the policy. It is the duty of each employee not to endanger himself or others by his actions or omissions, and to cooperate in all measures provided for his safety and health.
- the structure and role of safety and health committees and other in-house safety and health organization, if any.
The Arrangements or final part of the written policy concerns with practical systems and procedures.
It deals mainly with potential hazards and measures to be taken to solve the problem. Essentially it should specify detailed arrangements for ensuring that the policy is being implemented including :
- the arrangement for training and instructions
- information about hazards that may be in certain processes, the control measures and the ways in which employees should cooperate for their own safety and health
- explain the company's safe system of work including procedures and rules
- scheme for the issuance, use and maintenance of personal protective equipment (P.P.E.)
- the procedure for investigation and reporting of accidents and
- emergency measures such as first aid and fire arrangements.
It is important that contents of the policy be made known to employees during induction course and job training.
The policy statement should be displayed at strategic locations in the workplace.
WHAT ARE MY DUTIES AS AN EMPLOYEE?
- It shall be your duty as an employee while at work :
- to take reasonable care at work for the safety of yourself and other persons
- to cooperate with your employer or any other person in the discharge of any duty, under the Act or Regulations
- to wear or use at all times any protective equipment and clothing provided by your employer for the purpose of preventing risks to your safety and health
- to comply with any instruction or measure on occupational safety and health as required under the Act or Regulations
- If you contravene this provision of the Act, you shall be guilty of an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding RM1,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 months or to both.
- If you intentionally, recklessly or negligently interferes with or misuses anything provided or done in the interests of safety, health and welfare in pursuance of the Act, you shall be guilty of an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding RM20,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years or to both.
WHAT ARE THE DUTIES OF A SAFETY AND HEALTH OFFICER?
- A safety and health officer shall advise employer on the measures to be taken in the interests of safety and health at place of work.
- Safety and health officer shall inspect place of work to determine any hazard liable to cause bodily injury and to investigate any accident, near miss, dangerous occurrence, occupational poisoning or disease.
- It is also the duty of a safety and health officer to assist employer or safety and health committee in organizing and implementing Occupational Safety and Health programme.
- Other duties of a safety and health officer include
- to become the secretary of a safety and health committee
- to assist the safety and health committee in inspections
- to collect, analyze and maintain statistics
- to assist any officer in carrying his duty under the Act and regulations and
- to carry out any other instruction made by the employer on any matters pertaining to safety and health at workplace.
IS IT COMPULSORY TO ESTABLISH A SAFETY AND HEALTH COMMITTEE AT WORKPLACE?
- Pursuant to section 30 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994, every employer shall establish a safety and health committee at workplace if there are 40 or more persons employed at the place of work.
- A person who contravenes the above provisions shall be guilty of an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding RM5,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or to both.
- The functions of the safety and health committee include :
- to keep under review the measures taken to ensure the safety and health of persons at the place of work
- investigate any matter at the place of work which a member of the committee or a person employed thereat considers is not safe or is a risk to health and which has been brought to the attention of the employer
- attempt to resolve any matter referred to and if it is unable to do so, shall request the Director General of Occupational Safety and Health to undertake an inspection of the place of work for that purpose.
WHAT ARE THE DUTIES OF AN OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH OFFICER IF HE IS TO CONDUCT AN INSPECTION AT A WORKPLACE?
- An occupational safety and health officer shall take all reasonable steps to notify the employer and the safety and health committee of the entry.
- The occupational safety and health officer shall be produced on demand to the employer or any person in charge of a place of work a certificate of authorization issued by the Director General of the Occupational Safety and Health.
- Upon concluding an inspection, an officer shall give to the employer and the safety and health committee information with respect to his observations and any action he proposes to take in relation to the place of work.
- Where an officer proposes to take and remove a sample from a place of work for the purposes of analysis, he shall notify the employer and the safety and health committee and after having taken the sample he shall where possible
- divide the sample taken into as many parts as are necessary and mark and seal or mark and fasten up each part in such a manner as its nature will permit
- if required by the employer or the safety and health committee, deliver one part each to the employer and the safety and health committee
- retain one part for future comparison and
- if an analysis of the sample is to be made, submit another part to an analyst for analysis.
CAN AN OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH OFFICER ENTER A PLACE OF WORK WITHOUT SEARCH WARRANT?
- Where an officer is satisfied upon information received that he has reasonable grounds for believing that, by reason of delay in obtaining a search warrant, any article or part thereof in a place of work or residential place used to commit or intended to be used to commit an offence under the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994 or any regulation made thereunder is likely to be removed or destroyed, he may enter the place of work or residential place without a warrant and seize or seal the article or part thereof found therein.
- In exercising his powers, if it is necessary so to do, an officer may :
- break open any outer or inner door of a place of work or residential place and enter thereinto
- forcibly enter the place and every part thereof
- remove by force any obstruction to entry, search, seizure and removal as he is empowered to effect and
- detain every person found in the place until the place has been searched.
- However, an officer seizing any article or part thereof shall prepare a list of the things seized and forthwith, or as soon as is practicable, deliver a copy of the list signed by him to the occupier, or his agent or servant present in the premises, and if the premises are unoccupied the officer shall, whenever possible, post a list of the things seized on the premises.
<< 5.2 The Act Affection
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- Workmen's Compensation
- Sexual Harrassment
- Occupational Safety and Health Act
- Statutory Holiday (PDF)
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