ALOR SETAR, July 30 — Employers and industry players have been urged to send more local and foreign workers to obtain safety passports, in an effort to reduce the rate of workplace accidents.
Human Resources Minister V. Sivakumar said although participation in the programme has been increasing since it was first introduced, awareness among employers regarding the matter remains low.
“It is true the number of participants is increasing, but I think the level of awareness is still low … that is why I say this is not necessarily done by employers who operate in dangerous sectors only, but it is open to all sectors even if we see less danger because related issues like occupational health and safety are applicable to all.
“So, I call on employers to pay attention to this matter and send their workers to obtain this certification (safety passport). This is important, for example, in construction, for (workers) who go to the construction site, they cannot enter if they do not have this passport, (and) so far for the most part (it is) in the construction, oil and gas sector that requires verification for workers to be able to go on-site,” he said.
Sivakumar was speaking to the press after launching the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health’s (Niosh) Northern Region office, as well as launching the E-Idaman Safety Passport (EISP) programme for workers who carry out solid waste management, earlier today.
Also present was Deputy Minister of Human Resources Mustapha Sakmud.
Meanwhile, he said since Niosh’s Northern Region was opened on April 1 this year, a total of 1,452 workers in Kedah and Perlis have attended 66 training programmes provided.
“Niosh Northern Region aims for a total of 5,000 workers in Kedah and Perlis to attend training this year … and as for the rest of the country, we aim to train 200,000 participants every year at the headquarters in Bandar Baharu Bangi as well as five regional offices and 12 satellite offices nationwide,” Sivakumar said.
Niosh has managed to train 198,941 participants, through 11,153 programmes implemented last year.
The Niosh Safety Passport programme was first introduced in 2000 as a government effort to increase employee awareness on aspects of safety and health at work.