Gubalkan undang-undang baru untuk memastikan keselamatan pekerja (Malay/English)

0
53
File photo: sulekha.com

[ENGLISH VERSION BELOW] Pada Hari Peringatan Pekerja Antarabangsa atau Hari Berkabung Pekerja, yang disambut setiap tahun pada 28 April, kami, 42 kumpulan dan kesatuan sekerja yang disenaraikan di bawah ini sedih bahawa hakikat kematian pekerja di tempat kerja, masih belum mengerakkan kerajaan Malaysia untuk mengubal undang-undang, peraturan dan piawaian baru yang akan semestinya mencegah kematian atau kecederaan di kalangan pekerja pada masa depan dalam situasi serupa.

Hari Peringatan Pekerja Antarabangsa atau Hari Berkabung Pekerja adalah hari antarabangsa memperingati dan tindakan demi mengingati pekerja yang terbunuh, cacat, cedera atau menjadi sakit akibat pekerjaan mereka. Slogan hari ini adalah “Berkabung untuk yang mati, Berjuang untuk yang hidup”.

Sedang kita berkabung kehilangan nyawa dan kecederaan pekerja, kita juga berjuang untuk pekerja lain dengan tujuan mengurangkan risiko kehilangan nyawa dan kecederaan di tempat kerja.

Di Malaysia, pada tahun 2018 terdapat 611 kes kemalangan maut. Pada tahun 2017, terdapat 711 kes kemalangan maut. (Bernama, 11 Julai 2018; Star, 7 Januari 2020).

Malangnya, rekod Jabatan Keselamatan dan Kesihatan Pekerjaan mendedahkan kes kemalangan maut yang telah siap disiasat pada tahun 2017 dan 2018, masing-masing hanya 206 dan 260, yang bermaksud bahawa siasatan masih belum selesai untuk begitu banyak kes yang mengakibatkan kematian pun.

Sektor pembinaan mencatatkan jumlah kematian yang tertinggi. Statistik Jabatan Keselamatan dan Kesihatan Pekerjaan mencatatkan 169 kematian dan 3,911 kemalangan di sektor pembinaan untuk tahun 2018 (New Straits Times, 15 Februari 2020).

Kadar kematian setiap 100,000 pekerja di sektor pembinaan adalah 13.44 pada tahun 2018, berbanding kepada 14.57 pada tahun 2017.

Kadar kemalangan maut Malaysia bukan hanya 10 kali lebih teruk daripada di Britain tetapi sebenarnya merosot sebanyak 20% sejak permulaan abad ini, menurut laporan Lembaga Pembangunan Industri Pembinaan.

Kematian akibat parit runtuh – kematian akibat dikebumikan hidup-hidup

Jalmi, seorang pekerja Indonesia berusia 20-an, mati setelah dia ditimbus tanah di longkang kedalaman tiga meter semasa kerja-kerja penggalian di Shah Alam, Selangor pada Oktober 2015 (New Straits Times, 5 Oktober 2015).

Pada bulan Mac 2015, dilaporkan bahawa dua pekerja binaan di Machang, Kelantan – seorang lelaki tempatan dan seorang warga Myanmar – terbunuh ketika tanah runtuh dan menguburkan mereka di lubang ketika mereka sedang mengerjakan projek paip bekalan air (New Straits Times, 30 Mac 2015).

Pada bulan September 2015, seorang pekerja binaan Bangladesh terbunuh di Kuala Lumpur setelah dia dikebumikan di timbunan tanah, setelah mangsa dan rakannya sebelum itu menggali lubang sedalam tiga meter untuk memasang paip bawah tanah (New Straits Times, 30 September 2015).

Nicholas anak Jawan, seorang pekerja berusia 33 tahun, terbunuh di Sarawak setelah dia dikebumikan hidup-hidup ketika membina longkang monsun dalam (Malay Mail, 3 Disember 2019).

Md Shoriful, 43, dan Julhas Rahman, 27, terbunuh ketika mereka dikebumikan oleh gundukan tanah di tapak pembinaan projek perumahan di Mentakab, Temerloh di mana mereka menjalankan kerja pemasangan paip kumbahan (Bernama/New Straits Times, 6 Mac 2020).

Akan ada banyak kes yang serupa, yang malangnya tidak semua akan dilaporkan oleh media. Malangnya, laporan media juga gagal menyebut nama pekerja yang meninggal dan juga tidak menyebut nama syarikat atau majikan yang kemungkinan bertanggungjawab untuk kemalangan maut ini.

Sedang kita merayakan Hari Peringatan Pekerja Antarabangsa tahun ini, kami menyeru kerajaan Malaysia untuk:

Menggubal dan menguatkuasakan undang-undang dan peraturan yang menetapkan kewajiban wajib untuk mencegah kematian lagi di masa depan

Kematian akibat parit tanah runtuh seperti ini di Malaysia, dan juga di seluruh dunia, kerap berlaku, dan persoalannya adalah mengapa masih belum ada undang-undang dan peraturan khusus yang akan mencegah kematian tersebut dalam situasi serupa di masa depan.

Apa yang seharusnya terkandung dalam undang-undang tersebut adalah persyaratan untuk dukungan dan/atau penghadangan yang diperlukan untuk mencegah tanah runtuh mengebumikan pekerja yang bekerja di dalam lubang atau parit tersebut.

Keperluan untuk keperluan pemeriksaan keselamatan di tapak oleh orang yang kompeten, sebelum pekerja diminta memasuki lubang atau parit dengan kedalaman lebih dari satu meter, dengan mengambilkira bahawa keselamatan juga akan dipengaruhi oleh jenis tanah, cuaca pada hari itu , getaran disebabkan oleh mesin yang beroperasi berdekatan atau sebab lain.

Diperlukan peraturan dan piawaian khusus, dan bukannya undang-undang umum yang kabur yang hanya membicarakan tanggungjawab keselamatan dan kesihatan umum “sejauh mana yang dapat dilaksanakan”.

Di beberapa negara lain, sudah ada undang-undang yang secara khusus menangani hal ini seperti Peraturan Pembinaan (Reka Bentuk dan Pengurusan) 2015 di United Kingdom.

Terdapat begitu banyak majikan dan syarikat yang terlibat dalam kerja-kerja pembinaan di Malaysia, dan adalah tidak masuk akal untuk mengharapkan mereka mengetahui semua bahaya dan risiko yang terlibat dalam pelbagai aspek pekerjaan mereka.

READ MORE:  When accidents befall the builders

Majikan dan syarikat, mungkin tidak menyedari risiko yang ditemui di tempat kerja lain berikutan beberapa kemalangan, dan oleh itu mungkin masih menjalankan kerja dengan cara yang sama berisiko tinggi mengancam nyawa melalui kejahilan.

Oleh itu, hanya wajar untuk kerajaan, yang memiliki data dan kepakaran berkenaan keselamatan dan kesihatan kerja, untuk melakukan apa yang diperlukan melalui pengubalan atau pembuatan peraturan dan/atau undang-undang perlu yang menyatakan langkah-langkah khusus yang harus diambil oleh majikan untuk memastikan keselamatan pekerja.

Setiap kejadian di tempat kerja iaitu kemalangan, kecederaan dan/atau kematian pekerja akan memberikan kita pengajaran mengenai apa yang perlu dilakukan sekarang untuk mengelakkan kecelakaan sama di masa hadapann yang boleh kemungkinan mengakibatkan kematian pekerja.

Kerajaan berkewajiban untuk mengambil langkah-langkah untuk memastikan kemalangan serupa tidak berulang di mana saja. Dan jalan penyelesaian terbaik adalah perundangan undang-undang, peraturan dan undang-undang yang jelas yang tidak hanya akan menonjolkan bahaya, tetapi juga akan memastikan bahawa majikan dan syarikat melakukan apa yang diperlukan untuk mengurangkan risiko kematian dan kecederaan. Garis panduan atau nasihat sahaja tidak mencukupi.

Hebohkan kepada khalayak ramai dan janakan kesedaran mengenai undang-undang, peraturan dan prosedur operasi standard

Seringkali kerajaan menyebut mengenai prosedur operasi standard dan keperluan undang-undang lain, tetapi malangnya, ramai yang tidak tahu dengan jelas isi kandungan sebenarnya perundangan ini, di mana ini menjejaskan kemungkinan pekerja dan orang ramai menghebohkan atau melapurkan ketidakpatuhan undang-undang oleh majikan dan syarikat.

Semua undang-undang, peraturan dan prosedur operasi standard terpakai mesti disenang diperolehi orang ramai, termasuk dengan memuatkannya dalam semua laman web agensi, jabatan dan kementerian yang mempunyai tanggungjawab untuk memastikan keselamatan dan kesihatan pekerjaan.

Pastikan hukuman yang tegas (deterent) untuk mengurangkan ketidakpatuhan, justeru mengurangkan kematian dan kecederaan pekerja

Kehidupan dan kesejahteraan pekerja adalah kepentingan utama, dan dengan itu hukuman bagi majikan dan syarikat yang melanggar undang-undang yang melindungi keselamatan dan kesihatan pekerja mesti menjadi pencegahan (deterrent) sekiranya Malaysia benar-benar prihatin kehidupan manusia.

Pada masa ini hukuman untuk pelanggaran undang-undang keselamatan dan kesihatan pekerjaan adalah hanya denda, dan/atau penjara maksima dua tahun.

Namun, nampaknya macam tidak ada majikan atau pengarah syarikat yang telah dipenjarakan, walaupun kegagalan mereka mengakibatkan kematian dan kecederaan pekerja.

Pengarah dan pemilik syarikat, yang kadang-kadang mahu menjimatkan kos, sering memilih mengenepikan tugas dan kewajiban untuk melakukan perkara perlu untuk memastikan keselamatan dan kesihatan pekerja.

Kevin Otto, pemilik Atlantic Drain Services, sebuah syarikat di Amerika Syarikat baru-baru ini dijatuhkan hukuman penjara dua tahun setelah didapati bersalah atas dua tuduhan pembunuhan berkenaan kematian dua pekerja, Robert Higgins dan Kelvin Mattocks, yang lemas pada Oktober 2018 dalam keadaan tidak dilindungi ,iaiitu lemas dalam parit sedalam 14 kaki berikutan pembocoran satu paip air utama.

Kevin seterusnya dihukum dengan tiga tahun tempoh percobaan, yang bermula setelah dia keluar penjara, di mana dalam tempoh ini beliau tidak dibenarkan mengaji sesiapa pun untuk pekerjaan yang melibatkan penggalian (ISHN, 17 December 2019).

Di bidang kuasa lain, undang-undang yang ketat yang mengenakan hukuman yang lebih tinggi, termasuk kesalahan baru, telah digubal dengan tujuan mengurangkan risiko nyawa dan cedera pada pekerja. Di Australia, undang-undang Pembunuhan Industri (Industrial Manslaughter Laws) telah diperkenalkan.

Jangan kematian pekerja tidak bermakna. Cegah kemalangan serupa dan kurangkan risiko kehilangan nyawa atau kecederaan pekerja lain pada masa depan.

Charles Hector
Apolinar Tolentino

English version

‘Mourn for dead, fight for the living’ – Mere remembrance of dead workers without enacting new laws to ensure future safety of the living is meaningless

On the occasion of the International Workers’ Memorial Day or Workers’ Mourning Day, celebrated annually on 28 April, we, the 42 undersigned groups and trade unions, lament the fact that workers’ death at work sites, have not resulted in the Malaysian government’s enactment of laws, regulations and standards that will prevent future deaths or injury in a similar situation.

International Workers’ Memorial Day or Workers’ Mourning Day is the international day of remembrance and action for workers killed, disabled, injured or made unwell by their work. The slogan for the day is “Mourn for the dead, fight for the living”.

While we mourn the loss of lives and injuries of workers, we struggle and fight for the living with the objective of reducing the risk of future loss of life and injury at the workplace.

In Malaysia, in 2018 there were 611 fatal accident cases. In 2017, there were 711 fatal accident cases (Bernama, 11 July 2018; Star, 7 January 2020).

Interestingly, the Department of Occupational Safety and Health records of fatal accident cases investigated in 2017 and 2018 show only 206 and 260 respectively, which means that investigations have not yet been completed even in some cases that resulted in death.

The construction sector records one of the most fatalities. The Occupational Safety and Health Department’s statistics recorded 169 deaths and 3,911 accidents in the construction sector for 2018 (New Straits Times, 15 February 2020). The rate of fatality per 100,000 workers in the construction sector was 13.44 in 2018, compared to 14.57 in 2017.

Malaysia’s fatal accident rate was not only 10 times worse than that of the UK but had in fact deteriorated by 20% since the turn of the century, according to a Construction Industry Development Board report.

READ MORE:  Prosecute for causing injury, death not just non-compliance of workers' safety requirements

Deaths by reason of trench collapses – deaths by being buried alive

Jalmi, an Indonesian worker in his 20s, died after he was buried in a three-metre drain during excavation works in Shah Alam, Selangor (New Straits Times, 5 October 2015).

In March 2015 it was reported that two construction workers in Machang, Kelantan – a local man and a Myanmar national – were killed when earth collapsed and buried them in the hole whilst they were working on a water supply pipe project (New Straits Times, 30 March 2015).

In September 2015 a Bangladeshi construction worker was killed in Kuala Lumpur after he was buried in a pile of soil, after the victim and his colleague had earlier dug a hole about three metres deep to install underground pipes (New Straits Times, 30 September 2015).

Nicholas anak Jawan, a 33-year-old worker, was killed in Sarawak after he was buried alive while building a deep monsoon drain (Malay Mail, 3 December 2019)

Md Shoriful, 43, and Julhas Rahman, 27, were killed when they were buried by mounds of falling earth at a housing project construction site in Mentakab, Temerloh where they were carrying out sewage pipe installation works (Bernama/New Straits Times, 6 March 2020).

There would have been many more similar cases, but unfortunately not all would have been reported by the media. Sadly, media reports also fail to respectfully name the workers who died and to mention the names of the companies or their employers who may be responsible for these fatal accidents.

In the commemoration of this year’s International Workers’ Memorial Day, we call upon the Malaysian government to:

Enact and enforce laws and regulations that impose mandatory obligations to prevent further deaths in the future

Death by such trench collapses in Malaysia and all over the world have been happening for years. And the question is why are there still no specific laws and regulations in place that will prevent such deaths in similar situations in the future?

What ought to be in such laws could be the requirement for needed support and/or battering to prevent the soil from collapsing on workers working in such pits or trenches.

The should also be a requirement on the need for a safety inspection of the site by a competent person before a worker is asked to enter any hole or trench of more than one metre in depth – noting that safety will also be affected by the type of soil, the weather on that day, vibrations caused by machines operating nearby or other reasons.

Specific regulations and standards are needed, rather than vague general laws that simply talk about “so far as practicable” general obligations of safety and health.

In some other countries, there are already laws that specifically deal with this like The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 in the UK.

There are so many employers and companies involved in construction works in Malaysia, and it absurd to expect them to know of all the dangers and risks involved in the various different aspects of their work.

Employers and companies may not be aware of the risks discovered at other work sites following some accidents, and as such may still be carrying out work in the same risky life-threatening manner through ignorance.

Thus, it is only reasonable and incumbent for the government, which has the data and expertise with regard to occupational safety and health issues, to do what is necessary through the making of needed regulations and laws, which include steps to be taken by employers to ensure safety.

Every work-site incident that results in an accident, injury or death of a worker ought to teach us what needs to be done now to prevent future mishaps that may result in more deaths.

READ MORE:  Workers’ right to safe workplace must be protected - Bar

The government is duty-bound to take steps to ensure similar accidents do not recur anywhere. And the best solution is the enactment of clear laws, rules and regulations that will not only highlight the dangers, but will also make sure that employers and companies do what is necessary to reduce the risk of death and injury. Mere guidelines or advisories are insufficient.

Make public and create awareness of laws, regulations, standard operating procedures

Often the government mentions standard operating procedures and other legal requirements, but sadly many of these are not even known to workers and the public, thus making it impossible for people to even highlight actions or situations when employers and companies do not follow the law.

All applicable laws, regulations and standard operating procedures must be made available to the public, including all websites of agencies, departments and ministries having the responsibility for occupational safety and health.

Ensure deterrent sentences to reduce non-compliance, and reduce death and injury of workers

Workers’ lives and wellbeing are of primary importance, and as such the penalty for employers and companies that breach laws that protect the safety and health of workers must be a deterrent if Malaysia is truly concerned about human lives.

Currently penalties for violations of occupational safety and health laws are fines, and a maximum of two years’ imprisonment.

However, there seem to be no employers or directors of companies who have been sent to prison, even when their failings have resulted in death and injury to workers. It is directors and owners of companies who sometimes, to save cost, choose to negate duties and obligations to do what is necessary to ensure worker safety and health.

Kevin Otto, owner of Atlantic Drain Services, a company in US was recently sentenced to two years’ imprisonment after being found guilty of two counts of manslaughter for the deaths of two employees, Robert Higgins and Kelvin Mattocks, who drowned in October 2018 in an unprotected, 14-foot-deep trench following a water main break.

He was further penalised with three years’ probation following his sentence, and he can never again employ anyone in a job that involves excavation (ISHN, 17 December 2019).

In other jurisdictions, stringent laws with higher penalties, including new offences, are being enacted with the objective of reducing the risk of loss of life and injury to workers. In Australia, industrial manslaughter laws have been introduced.

Let not the death of workers be in vain. Prevent similar accidents to reduce future risk of loss of lives of other workers.

Charles Hector
Apolinar Tolentino

On behalf of the following 42 groups:

  1. Aliran
  2. Workers Hub For Change (WH4C)
  3. Associated Labour Union, Philippines
  4. Association of Human Rights Defenders and Promoters (HRDP) in Myanmar
  5. Building and Wood Workers International (BWI), Asia Pacific Region
  6. Building and Wood Workers’ Federation of Myanmar
  7. Center for Orang Asli Concerns (COAC)
  8. Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC), South East Asian Coalition
  9. Confederation of Trade Unions (CTUM), Myanmar
  10. Electrical Trades Union of Australia
  11. IMA Research Foundation, Bangladesh
  12. International Black Women for Wages for Housework
  13. Kesatuan Pekerja Atlas Edible Ice Sdn Bhd
  14. Kesatuan Sekerja Industri Elektronik Wilayah Selatan, Semenanjung Malaysia (KSIEWSSM)/Electronic Industry Employees Union Southern Region Peninsular Malaysia (EIEUSRPM)
  15. Labour Behind the Label
  16. Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture (Madpet)
  17. Maruah, Singapore
  18. Marvi Rural Development Organization (MRDO), Pakistan
  19. Migrant Care, Indonesia
  20. Network of Action for Migrants in Malaysia (NAMM)
  21. National Union of Transport Equipment & Allied Industries Workers (NUTEAIW)
  22. National Union of Flight Attendants Malaysia (Nufam)
  23. North South Initiative (NSI)
  24. Odhikar, Bangladesh
  25. Persatuan Sahabat Wanita Selangor
  26. Safety and Rights Society (SRS), Bangladesh
  27. Tenaganita, Malaysia
  28. Timber Employees Union of Peninsula Malaysia
  29. Union Network International-Malaysia Labour Centre (UNI-MLC)
  30. Women of Color/Global Women’s Strike, UK
  31. Bangladesh Group, The Netherlands
  32. Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (Empower)
  33. Sabah Timber Industry Employees Union (STIEU)
  34. African Resources Watch (Afrewatch)
  35. Association Of Home And Maquila Workers, Atrahdom, Guatemala.
  36. Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM)
  37. Asosasyon ng mga Makabayang Manggagawang Pilipino Overseas – Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa (Association of Nationalist Filipino Workers – Sentro a labor center in the Philippines) (Ammpo-Sentro)
  38. Payday Men’s Network UK
  39. Payday Men’s Network US
  40. Workers Assistance Center, Inc, Philippines
  41. Coalition of Former Workers (es) and Workers (es) of the National Electronics Industry, CETIEN
  42. Center for Reflection and Labor Action (Cereal), Mexico

Datuk Dr Ronald McCoy

Sign Aliran's 'Save our Democracy" petition
Sign Aliran's petition calling for a review of the decision to grant Riza Aziz a DNAA
Thanks for dropping by! The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

Our voluntary writers work hard to keep these articles free for all to read. But we do need funds to support our struggle for Justice, Freedom and Solidarity. To maintain our editorial independence, we do not carry any advertisements; nor do we accept funding from dubious sources. If everyone reading this was to make a donation, our fundraising target for the year would be achieved within a week. So please consider making a donation to Persatuan Aliran Kesedaran Negara, CIMB Bank account number 8004240948.
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments