Preventive measures at work could save everyone in the long run
As the recurring issues of Pasir Gudang’s air pollution incident came to light yet again, the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Chairman, Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye suggested the need to implement the “cradle-to-grave” strategy.
Lee said authorities and companies involved must address a series of key issues including chemical disposal, taking Sungai Kim Kim incident as an example at World Day for Safety and Health at Work celebration.
According to Lee, the illegal dumpsite case is like a ‘ticking bomb’ to the nation that would cost a lot of lives within a short time. “Now we talk about Pasir Gudang but how about other places? I am very worried,” adding other states have their own chemical industry as well, where the same concerns should apply in order to foresee and take precautions beforehand.
The authorities and industry players must adopt best practices in chemical management including the “cradle-to-grave” strategy where each chemical compound is tackled at all stages. The people want more proactive measures from all the agencies involved and they must take whatever measures needed to ensure the safety of the people including students from nearby schools.
Lee also urged chemical companies to self-regulate and support the “Responsible Care” initiative by the chemical industry that builds confidence and trust in the global chemical industry, which has been adopted by Malaysia since 1994 and led by Chemical Industries Council of Malaysia (CICM) as its sole custodian.
Under the 11th Malaysia Plan, Lee said NIOSH had also set up two laboratories – Environmental Ergonomic Laboratory and Human Ergonomics and Assessment Laboratory – to help employers improve the working condition of their staff.