The 5-year medium-term master plan aims to inculcate inclusive values to encourage the participation of all parties
by HARIZAH KAMEL / pic by TMR FILE
MALAYSIA’S occupational safety and health (OSH) system is set to undergo transformation with the launch of the Occupational Safety and Health Master Plan 2021-2025 (OSHMP25).
Launched by Prime Minister (PM) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob (picture) in a virtual event yesterday, the five-year medium-term master plan is a continuation of the plan before and aims to inculcate inclusive values to encourage the participation of all parties.
OSHMP25 outlines seven strategic thrusts to drive the formation of a safe and healthy work culture and help increase the Malaysian WellBeing Index through, among others, OSH empowerment in the public sector; strengthening the practice of self-regulation in the workplace; promotion of OSH education and research; empowering occupational health; and improving OSH compliance in the small and medium enterprise sector.
“The plan will improve the level of safety and health in the workplace by reducing the rate of accidents, deaths and infections, which in turn will help the government’s efforts to improve the wellbeing of the people.
“The direct effect of neglecting OSH is the country can suffer a loss of 4% of GDP per year. However, the government’s priority is to prevent the loss of life of members of Keluarga Malaysia,” said the PM in his keynote address.
Moving forward, Ismail Sabri said Malaysians need to weather the global environment that is expected to become increasingly competitive as a result of the pandemic, which demands a drastic shift to new employment norms, such as working from home with increased online activity.
From a positive angle, he said this new scenario opens up a lot of opportunities for employees as the definition of a workplace will also become increasingly vague when employees are not necessarily in the office and will operate from home virtually.
However, Ismail Sabri expressed concerns that these changes can also expose employees to ergonomic-related problems, which among others are related to body posture when using computers or gadgets.
“Employees who are confined at home for too long are also prone to psychosocial problems, especially mental stress and poor social interaction. This new situation requires the government to take affirmative action to ensure that a healthy, safe and conducive work environment continues to be created,” he noted.
Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M Saravanan reiterated that the master plan will be key in ensuring that the work environment is safe and healthy.
“This is because we want Malaysians, especially the working class to be able to work in harmony and prosperity, despite facing the challenges of employment that needs to be done in the new norm. This is in line with the government’s intention for the economy to recover faster, especially in the post Covid-19 period.
“The implementation of this master plan will indirectly strengthen the strategic relationship of stakeholders in cultivating occupational safety and health practices,” the minister added.