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More than 1,300 workplace deaths last year

KUALA TERENGGANU, 15 Jan 2009: Some 1,303 workplace related deaths were recorded last year out of about 63,600 workplace accidents, said Human Resources Minister Datuk Dr S Subramaniam.

He said according to the Social Security Organisation (Socso)’s records 188 deaths were reported in the manufacturing sector, the highest compared to other sectors.

Speaking when officiating the Workers’ Health and Safety Day at MSET Shipbuilding in Pulau Kambing here today, Subramaniam said Terengganu had accidents every month and there were nine deaths last year.

“Accident investigations by the Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) revealed that causes of accidents were the failure of employers to have a safety and health management system in the workplace and workers not following set safety procedures,” he said.

To resolve the matter his ministry through DOSH and the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health was actively carrying out programmes to ensure that the government’s target of three accidents for every 1,000 workers was met come developed nation status by 2020, Subramaniam said.  

He said safety aspects at workplaces should not be taken lightly.

“Neglecting this aspect can cause large losses to companies. As such, I urge employers to implement safety and health programmes efficiently and on a continuous basis,” he said.

At a ceremony to present benefits cheques and rehabilitation equipment to 15 Socso members here today, Subramaniam said up till Oct 2008 Socso had paid out RM967 million in benefits.

In Terengganu last year, Socso processed 4,784 claims and paid out more than RM5 million in benefits.

He said Socso had set up a hotline at the Socso headquarters in Kuala Lumpur to answer questions and in 2007 it had received 36,136 calls. — Bernama

 

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