What is OSHA
Occupational Safety & Health Act 1994
Malaysia OSHA Requirement
Malaysia's OSHA is a lawful act designed to ensure legal protections to workers. Malaysia's Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) of 1994 guarantee many rights and protections to the common worker. These rules and guidelines outline certain responsibilities that employers have to provide a safe and healthy work environment. These laws, also referred to as "Act 514," are overseen and enforced by the Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH). All employers in the nation of Malaysia must run businesses that fall in line with OSHA, including construction industry.
Prevailing Law
OSHA contains a prevailing law clause, which states that while OSHA regulations and rules can be added to rules governing any industry, they do not replace all older labor laws. In Malaysia, OSHA is used as a general series of laws that must be met by all businesses, but individual industries that are also governed by other acts must also meet all the standards of those other laws. In cases of industries that have more than one set of labor laws, OSHA is a supplemental law, not a replacement of older acts.
General Duties of Employers
OSHA states that employers are responsible for the safety, health, and welfare of their employees "so far as practical." This phrase is somewhat defined in OSHA, with specific references to up-to-date maintenance and all up-to-code equipment, but the phrase is also intentionally vague to leave some room for interpretation. Many case files are included in any appendix of OSHA, which specifically deal with the interpretation of that phrase.
General Penalty
Penalties for acting in violation of OSHA can be very harsh. The law lays out specific penalties for multiple positions and organizations that can be in violation of the law in one way or another, but general penalties do exist even for violations that are not specifically listed. The general penalty is a fine of up to 50,000 ringgit, or up to two year imprisonment, or both.
OSHA In Local Construction Industry
Construction is a high hazard industry that comprises a wide range of activities involving construction, alteration, and/or repair. Examples include residential construction, bridge erection, roadway paving, excavations, demolitions, and large scale painting jobs. Construction workers engage in many activities that may expose them to serious hazards, such as falling from rooftops, unguarded machinery, being struck by heavy construction equipment, electrocutions, silica dust, and asbestos. Even though OSHA has been implemented since 1994, in the local construction industry, many employers still place OSHA as a costly, troublesome and unimportant agenda in their business strategy.
However, with the frequent occurrence of high-profiled, wide published accidents, often with deaths due to the negligence of the employers and the employees, OSHA had been seen as an important area that the industry should have focused on. From the site registration with relevant authorities such as JKKP, health & safety manual & plan requirements in majority of construction projects, implementation of relevant H & S for construction activities to the qualifications and certifications requirement for relevant personals, OSHA had been an important agenda that every employer should seriously consider in order to achieve the compliance with the regulatory and regulations, at the same time, maintaining its competitive advantage in current hypercompetitive business environment.
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