Saturday, September 20, 2014

MALAYSIA:::MTUC: Impose heavy penalty on irresponsible bosses

THE Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) has urged the government to impose a heavier penalty on employers who neglect their workers’ safety, leading to workplace accidents and deaths.

Its deputy secretary-general, A. Balasubramaniam, said the MTUC viewed accidents at workplaces seriously.

He said there was a need for tough action to be taken against errant employers.

Balasubramaniam said many work-related accidents in Malaysia drew public attention. He cited as an example the recent incident at an MRT project worksite in Kota Damansara, Selangor, that killed three workers.

He said such incidents 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,” he said.

Currently, an errant employer is liable to a fine of up to RM50,000 or imprisonment for a maximum of two years, or both, upon conviction.

Balasubramaniam made reference to a case in Singapore where a construction company was fined S$150,000 (RM380,000) for breach of safety rules that resulted in a worker falling to his death.

The fine 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 should also conduct thorough investigations on workplace accidents. 


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