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3.02 The Act (OSHA 1994)
Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) 1994
Broadly, the Malaysia OSH Act 1994 Act obliges employers and employees to have regard to health, safety and welfare at work (including the output from workplaces, whether goods or services), and the effect such work, goods and services may have on persons in the workplace, or using goods and services provided by the workplace.
Particular attention is drawn to Part 2 of the Act, which outlines the Duties relating to health, safety and welfare at work.
OSHA 1994 states the following objectives of the Act are to:
- secure the safety, health and welfare of everyone at work against risks to safety and health arising out of the activities of persons at work;
- protect the safety, health and welfare of everyone at work against risks to safety and health arising out of the activities of persons at work (Self-regulation);
- promote an occupational environment for persons at works which adapted to their physiological and psychological needs (Consultation);
- provide the means whereby the associated OSH legislations may be progressively replaced by a system of regulations and approved industry codes and practice to maintain or improve the standards of OSH (Cooperation).
"It shall be the duty of every employer and every self-employed person to ensure, so far as is practicable, the safety, health and welfare at work of all his employees"
and expands on this duty.
Section 17(1) emphasizes the need to protect persons other than employees in the workplace.
Section 18 places a duty of care on self-employed persons to care for persons (other than employees of those self-employed persons).
Section 18 (1) outlines the need to ensure controllers of work premises, plant or substances do not cause harm to others coming into contact with those premises, plant or substances.
Section 20 places a duty of care on those who design, manufacture or supply plant and substances for persons to use at work.
Section 23 outlines the penalties that apply should a breach of the Act occur.
Section 24 outlines the duty of employees to cooperate with the employer in achieving the aims of the Act. (EG if PPE is required, employee must wear it; if special training is required, employee must attend.)
Section 25 emphasizes the obligation of the employer to pay for all things done or provided pursuant to statutory requirement of the Act. (EG if safety footwear is required, employer must pay for it.)
Section 27 states an employer must not 'dismiss and employee, injure and employee… or alter an employee's position' to the employee's detriment, should the employee raise safety concerns or be a member of an OSH committee or be an OSH representative.
Other sections of the Act deal with such things as Codes of Practice, Regulations, the rights and responsibilities of DOSH inspectors and their policing of the Act and the outcomes of such policing.
The OSHA 1994 is available from DOSH (free if downloaded from their website - www.DOSH.gov.my)