Malaysia’s palm oil industry is growing in complexity and successively to succeed on the global level by accounts for about 36% of the word production of palm oil . But, Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) issues are still problematic areas that need to be addressed by all parties concerned in this industry. In the olden days, unlike construction or manufacturing industry, palm oil industry was green in OHS management system. However, due to stringent in the legislative enforcement in the past few years, it has lead some of the plantation companies to develop OHS management system, which are based on Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series (OHSAS), towards corporate sustainability. Sustainability is not about paying lip-service to the latest corporate buzzword; neither is it about superficially meeting minimum requirements for the sake of compliance. Rather, sustainability is a core value that lies at the heart of the companies’ business conduct. In practical terms, this means strive to operate with due consideration for the interest of all stakeholders by making the health and safety of all workers a priority. This paper describes the certification of OHSAS 18001 and MS 1722 in Genting Plantations Berhad (GENP) prove the commitment to sustainability by forming guiding principle on safety management. Further, this paper also demonstrates that the implementation of safety management can help to reduce the accident rate, especially fatal accident.
Regulation on occupational safety and health in Malaysia had evolved from the prescriptive Factory and Machinery Act (1967) to a self-regulated Occupational Safety and Health Act (1994). However, from the authors’ observation the high standards of occupational safety and health culture that surpass the legal requirement were not widely practiced by small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The two main objectives of this study are: first, to identify and determine the level of conformity; and second, to investigate the reasons of nonconformity to Occupational Safety and Health Act (1994) regulation in SMEs involved the chemical industry sub-sectors. The survey questionnaire was distributed to 150 SMEs in chemical industry sub-sectors. Forty one of the survey questionnaires were completed and returned, giving a response rate of 27.3% for the survey. The survey results revealed that an overwhelming majority (92.7%) of the respondents from SMEs are likely not conforming to the basic requirement of Occupational Safety and Health Act (1994). In addition to this, the survey also found that only 3.1% of the management personnel can be considered competent in terms of knowledge, skill and ability in carrying out occupational safety and health regulation within their respective organization. While, 96.9% of the respondents that participated in the survey can be considered not competent. The authors hope the result of this survey could assist the relevant authorities in formulating a better policy and strategy for implementing occupational safety and health in SMEs involved in chemical industry sub-sectors.
Fogging activity has become one of the important methods in tackling dengue outbreaks nowadays. Despite this, it is an occupation that has known hazards namely noise and pesticides which can affect the body organs. Based on this knowledge, a cross sectional study was conducted to determine the association between hearing impairment and serum cholinesterase level among foggers from five randomly selected Health District Offices in Selangor. A total of 200 workers comprising of 100 workers exposed to fogging activity and another 100 workers not exposed were randomly selected for this study. Data was obtained through self administered questionnaire, audiometric testing and serum cholinesterase level measurement. The overall prevalence of hearing impairment was 16% with foggers having significant higher prevalence (24%) compared to the non foggers (8%) (χ2=9.52, p=0.002). Measurement of serum cholinesterase showed that exposed workers had lower level compared to the non exposed group. Similarly, those who have hearing impairment had also lower serum cholinesterase level although it was not statistically different. Among all studied factors, age and duration of exposure to fogging activities were statistically different with hearing impairment (p
Occupational health hazards as a result to exposure to mineral dust containing silica has been established long time ago in occupational health history. Its effects on lung function and symptom was evaluated in a cross sectional studied among 49 small enterprise pottery workers in the county of Sayong clustered in 3 villages. Respiratory symptoms and lung function was evaluated using MRC respiratory questionnaire 86 and standard spirometry performed. The prevalence of chronic cough, phlegm and chest tightness was 24.5%, 16% and16% respectively. There was no significant decrement in lung function parameters from the predicted normal value with the mean predicted FVC; FEV1 and FEV1/FVC ratio was 85.32%, 83.87% and 99.22 respectively. The relationship between lung symptoms and lung function parameters was evaluated and the result was not significant.
Work-related Musculoskeletal Disorders (WMSDs) are common occupational injuries among workers in the construction industry. Epidemiological studies indicated that WMSDs include neck pain, lower back pain, knee pain, leg fatigue as well as ankle and feet discomfort. The objectives of this study are to identify the WMSDs experienced by the workers during construction works and discuss the causes of those WMSDs. Subjective approach associated with modified Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire (NMQ) was applied to identify the symptoms of WMSDs. A case study was conducted in several construction sites situated at the southern region of Peninsular Malaysia. During the study, 37 construction workers with different age and scope of works were interviewed to determine the WMSDs that they have experienced. Based on distributed questionnaire, almost all workers experienced pain in the region of lower back, upper back and biceps. These pains were contributed by manipulation of heavy load and high force exertion. Based on discussed causations, control measures via engineering controls method and administrative controls method were proposed to alleviate the risk of WMSDs among construction workers.
Comparative cross sectional study was conducted to determine the prevalence of hearing impairment among workers in one of the airport in Malaysia and the factors associated with it. A total of 248 subjects comprising 175 from the exposed group and the remaining control group were sampled. The main tools used in this study were validated questionnaire on hearing assessment and pure tone audiometric test. Response rate was 94%. Both area and personal exposure monitoring have exceeded action level for 8 Hrs TWA in the exposed group but within normal limit in the control group. The prevalence of hearing impairment was 88% among the noise exposed group and 11% in the control group with prevalence odds ratio (POR) 3.569 (95%CI 1.210-10.53, p
Maritime transportation is very important for coastal state country like Malaysia. However, as having the busiest straits in the world, Malaysia is continuously exposed to the risk of marine spill. The nation had experienced around 30 marine spill incidents since 1976 to the present. The main contributor of marine spill is ship’s accident and in term of category of accident, collision had contributed the most. In term of type of substance that mostly spilled by ships is highly persistence crude oil. The management of marine spill response of Malaysia is applying the three tiers system which is base on the area and scale of the spill. The basis of establishing the marine response service is in accordance with OPRC, which incorporated into the national environmental law. With the three tiers of response system, Malaysia is equipped with arsenal of marine spill response and control equipments. However, with the present magnitude of threat, the current capacities of equipments are insufficient. Nevertheless, the possibility of full magnitude of marine spill is unlikely due to the safety features incorporated into the design of the ships and FSO/FPSO. In term of claim and compensation for marine spill incident, Malaysia is applying the two layers of compensation under the CLC 1992 Protocol and FUND 1992 Protocol. Therefore, Malaysia is ready in various aspects of marine spill response and control.
Engineering control is a method of controlling the risk of exposure to contaminants. Health effects to industrial workers are more severe whilst high exposure and time exposed to contaminants at workplace. Installation of industrial ventilation or local exhaust ventilation (LEV) system is the proposed method to reduce the risk. This paper discusses the past, present and future relating to LEV system in Malaysia. Current issues related to monitoring reported by Hygiene Technician in compliance with Occupational Safety and Health (Use of Standard Chemical Hazardous to Health Regulation 2000) carried out in several states in Malaysia as a sample. The nanotechnology is a new area at present and future. The involvement of government, employers and employees need to be justified due to the attention to prevent and control of any exposure. It is suggested that using the Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) simulation, a new design of LEV system can be upgraded and predicted.
Environmental factors such as temperature, lighting and noise have very significant impact to workers’ health, safety, comfort, performance and productivity. In an ergonomically design industrial work environment, these factors need to be control at their optimum levels. The main objective of this study is to find the effect of temperature, illuminance and sound pressure level on workers’ productivity in automotive industry. To perform this study a workstation in an automotive component manufacturing was selected as the location of the study. Results of data analysis showed there were relationships between temperature, illuminance and noise on workers’ productivity. Later, the authors’ developed multiple linear equation models to represent the relationships between temperature, illuminance and noise on the workers’ productivity. These multiple linear equation models could be used to predict the production rate for the workstation by referring to the value of temperature, illuminance and noise level.
The paper writes on the possible origin of off-limit cases found in a noise project conducted internally in a factory in Malaysia. Out of 691 sampled workers’ that attended audiometric test results (some repeated), it was found that the mode of hearing ability is between 20 to 30 dB depending on individual worker’s age ranging from 20 to 55 years. Out of the total results, approximately 100 workers are above a limit defined here in this paper as the off-limit condition. The chance of a worker originating from a good condition to an unhealthy condition is about 1 percent. The data are tabulated to show that a sway pattern could be an explanation of workers’ origin. Although the data is profound, there is no evidence of a trace due to a short test period. Possibilities are highlight here to outline the severity of a cross over to the unhealthy condition (here defined as the off-limit condition). Some advises are mentioned here with individual susceptibility on the matter though there is no data to substantiate. Further findings are required to show a trace. In conclusion, the severity is highlight. A chart, developed to know the limits of hearing ability, is illustrated ased the findings.
Needle Stick Injury is injuries caused by suture needle and hollow bore needle and does not include injuries via scalpel blades, lancet and glass pieces or by other means for the purpose of this training program. This problem needs to be prevented or minimized by embarking on an effective training program. The applicability of this program will be determined by the response of the participants to the contents and teaching methods which will in future effect the long term out come and the success of the Needle Stick Injury prevention and Universal Precautions training program. This Health Education program was designed to be used for the induction training of new workers as well as those already in service and is applicable to all levels of Health Care Workers especially those directly dealing with or handling syringes and needles. This Needle Stick Injury and Universal Precautions Training Program was carried out in one of the health facility under the Ministry of Health in Sabah and the outcome evaluation and analysis using paired t-test has shown a significant difference in their effectiveness in increasing the knowledge of the Health Care Workers after being exposed to the program (p < 0.01). The process evaluation was able to show that this approach was instrumental in creating awareness among the Health Care Workers who had attended this program. From the study, 98% (49) had not attended any formal training since joining the service, followed by 90% who had given a good overall rating for the program. For the lecture and its relevance, 90% and 74% for the hands–on training. About 77% of the participant was satisfied with the discussion. The program can be developed further and with it a comprehensive training module can be produced. The long-term benefits of such a training program will need to be evaluated in a future study.
There is a high prevalence of chronic diseases in the community. Promoting health at the workplace is an effective measure to manage such diseases. This study shares the findings of country-wide company health screening program. The prevalence of high cholesterol among participants was 29 %, high blood pressure was 8% and high blood sugar was 3%. The prevalence of high cholesterol from workplace screening was higher than the community prevalence but the prevalence of high blood pressure and high blood sugar was lower than the community prevalence. The various factors influencing these findings are discussed.
Societal dynamics and increased public demands on education have produced adverse stressful classroom situation that have led to increase emotional and physical disabilities among teacher. The main objective of this descriptive study was to identify the causes of occupational stress amongst secondary school teachers. This study also conducted in order to determine the suitable ways and strategies at helping teachers to cope with the work related pressures that have increased during the past decade. The samples of this study were 100 teachers from four secondary schools in Dungun District, Terengganu. The data were descriptively analyzed based on the responds on a set of questionnaires, checklist and 20 interview sessions conducted for exploration of coping strategy with 20 out of 100 teachers. Based on the finding, it can be concluded that interpersonal relations, physical conditions and job interest contribute towards workrelated stress among teachers. Also discussed the 10 most frequently used coping strategies by teachers. Therefore, there are suggesting measures, which teachers may take to help them cope more effectively with potentially stressful situations at school.
Fishing industry in Malaysia is dominated by small scale fishing, scattered along the coast of the country. The risk associated with fishing industry is well known but few studies have been done among those in the small scale fishing community. Fishermen not only have to cope with the uncertainty of nature but also the physical demands of the occupation. The objective of the study was to determine the injuries and its associated factors related to the small scale fishing industry. The study was conducted in a fishing village in northern Malaysia, which was hit by tsunami. Most of the boats and fishing gear were donated by many relief agencies. A descriptive cross sectional study was conducted using a standardized questionnaire. 50 (83.3%) of the 60 fishermen had consented for the study. All the fishermen were Malays males. 46% (n=23) of the fishermen reported to having sustained injuries. Most of the injuries occurred offshore (p
How people perceive risk influences their behaviour towards these risks. We do not know how workers perceive risk of dying from activities or technology. This study was conducted among 198 workers of a security company in Malaysia. The workers were asked to score on a Likert scale of 1 to 5 the perceived risk of death of Malaysians from activities and technology. The highest perceived risks of death were, in order of ranking, motorcycles, motor vehicles, handguns, alcoholic beverages and smoking. The difference in perception and reality is discussed.
The research is focus generally to identify and investigate the issue of accessible design for wheelchair users on selected Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTM) commuter stations in the city of Kuala Lumpur. The objectives are to ensure that the design of accessibility is comply with the law, regulations, standard requirements and guidelines; to understand the recent condition and their needs in commuter stations and to allow their secure equal rights and opportunities as others. The research began by gaining reliable information through literature study and a checklist for building audit was prepared to evaluate the accessibility. A building access survey was carried out on selected stations which enclosed three main stages to show the pattern of passengers’ path. Stage 1: From the road to the ticket counter. Stage 2: From the ticket counter to the platform. Stage 3: From the platform to the train. A series of structured questionnaire was also constructed to study and get a feedback from selected target of users. Result of findings in this study had been analyzed to assist the management and the station concerned in upgrading their station facilities to a comfortable, accessible, friendly and safe environment in order to encourage more users, including disabled persons to benefit from it.
This study was done to investigate the background level on microbiological indoor air pollutants in new constructed 8 stories buildings (2 level of Hostel facilities, 3 level of Training Room level, 2 level of Offices and 1 Exhibition Halls and Rooms) in Bandar Baru Bangi, Selangor. The offices and exhibition hall are carpeted furnished. All these spaces were using centralized air conditioning system. Airborne microbes’ concentrations were determined by using a single stage impactor (Biosampler) as per requirement of National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health NIOSH method NIOSH Manual Analytical Method MAM 0800. Mean concentration of total bacteria detected is 1351 CFU/m3 and it was found significantly higher compared to maximum exposure limit 500 CFU/m3 in office room. The mean concentration of total fungi in the office rooms is 479 CFU/m3 and it was found slightly lower compared to maximum exposure limit 500 CFU/m3. The airborne microbe levels were found slightly lower in the accommodation, training and exhibition rooms compared to office room. These findings indicate that although a new constructed building should be having a significant background level of airborne microbe (total bacteria and total fungi).
Sound is one of the source of energy generated by vibration and is carried through the air in a form of pressure waves (Frederick, 1975). This pressure waves consist of pulsation or vibration of molecules of an elastic medium such as gas, liquid and even solid (Gerber, 1974). Due to its nature, sound can be irritating when it is excessive. The excessive amount of sound is called noise. Exposure to noise is common to the workers working at the industry. This can lead to hearing loss. Hearing loss is one of the most common health problems in the industrialized world. Working activities have been related to noise exposure due to increase use of machine that generates sounds. Many workers throughout the world experience hazardous noise exposure which is ≥ 85 decibels (dB) (Seter, 1998). Based on the previous study in the European region, most of the employers had difficulties to compensate workers diagnosed with hearing loss or hearing impairment cause by the working nature. (Rachiotis et al., 2006). According to European Survey on Working Conditions, about 7% of the workers considered that their work affects their health in the form of hearing disorders. Occupational risk factors for hearing loss include occupational noise, whole body vibration, work-related diseases and exposure to chemical. In this report, we specified in the noise exposure level of the workers.
Brush cutting is a commonly performed activity occupationally as well as recreationally in Malaysia. There are various occupational injuries reported related to brush cutting, for example foreign body penetration. There were 11 reported cases of foreign body penetrated in leg of brush cutting workers admitted to orthopaedic ward in Hospital Raja Permaisuri Bainun from the period of January till October 2009. Among the cases, 4 were surgically removed under local anaesthesia and 7 cases performed under general anesthesia. 2 cases reported foreign body penetrated into tibia bone. There were many contributing factors to the injury, which include lack of protective measures for workers, engineering property of brush cutting machine and education on handling of equipment. It is vital to study the factors separately in order to determine and recommend useful preventive measures. However, the actual numbers of cases are under reported and awareness of the problem is undermined.
A preliminary study has been conducted in a new constructed 8 stories building (2 level of Hostels facility, 3 level of Training Room, 2 Level of Offices and 1 level of Exhibition Halls and Rooms) in Bandar Baru Bangi, Selangor. The Hostels facility is a floor tile and furnished with build in locker and use split air conditioning system while the Training Room and Exhibition Rooms used floor tile. The Offices and Exhibition Hall are carpeted furnished. All these spaces were using centralized air conditioning systems. A pre-commissioning assessment on 5 chemical parameters of indoor air pollutants such Total Volatile Organic Compounds (TVOC), Formaldehyde, Respirable Particulates (PM!