Saturday, December 14

Niosh wants CityONE explosion probe be made public


Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye

KUCHING: The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (Niosh) wants the findings of the investigation into the CityOne Megamall explosion here be made public once it is completed.

Its chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said the latest tragedy that killed three people and injured more than 20 others must be thoroughly investigated by the relevant authorities to determine the actual cause.

“While we are awaiting the detailed report of this latest incident, I would like to stress that it is the responsibility of employers to provide training and personal protective equipment (PPE), while for employees, it is their responsibility to wear it,” he said in a statement today.

Lee said employers, including contractors and sub-contractors, must discharge their statutory duties under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) 1994 to ensure that incidents such as the explosion at CityOne mall, Kuching would not happen.

“Fatal accidents at workplaces and occupational injuries are preventable if all contractors take steps to have a proper safety management plan at all their worksites.

“OSHA 1994 also states that training is mandatory and continuous effort must be taken to ensure the safety and health of workers at the workplace.”

Lee said employers and contractors who failed to provide a safe and healthy working environment for their employees could be charged under Section 15 of OSHA 1994, which carries a fine of up to RM50,000 or two years’ jail, or both.

“Under the Act, it is the responsibility of both employers and their workers to ensure safety and health at the workplace and those who failed to do so could be fined or charged in court,” he added.

Lee said employers who failed to provide PPE to employees could be fined not more than RM50,000 or be jailed for up two years, or both, under OSHA 1994.

Workers found guilty of not using PPE could be penalised under Section 24 of the Act, which carries a fine not exceeding RM1,000 or imprisonment of up to three months, or both. – Bernama