PUTRAJAYA: The National Occupational Safety and Health Council is drafting safety guidelines for jobs using two-wheel vehicles.
Its chairman, Datuk Mahfuz Omar, said the work related road safety guidelines for those who spent most of their time on the road delivering food or letters, or reading utility metres was expected to be ready in three to four months.
“Yesterday, the council deliberated on the early draft that covers comprehensive aspects of the matter,” said Mahfuz who is also the deputy human resources minister.
“A committee was also formed to study it thoroughly.
“We will also engage and bring on board all relevant agencies to address safety issues faced by workers who work using their motorbikes, while the roads are their ‘office’.”
Mahfuz said this after a Safety and Health Awareness programme for media practitioners today.
He said adoption of the guidelines would be on a voluntary basis.
“However, if the response to the guidelines is poor, then we will likely make it mandatory,” he said.
During the event, Mahfuz said all employers in the media industry were responsible for preparing work procedures, based on the guidelines of the Safe Work Practices for Media Professionals.
“These guidelines outline safety measures that should be considered before conducting any work or activity.
“Any accident involving workers will be a loss to the country.
“The government has the responsibility to protect workers, including media practitioners who risk their lives to gather news,” he added.
On the recent death threat received by a journalist attached to a Malay daily, Omar said the matter was being handled by police.
“We classify it as violence at work.
“Employers should have procedures on what are the steps to be taken (when such incidents happen),” he said.
Mahfuz said the reporter had lodged a police report and Brickfields acting police chief Superintendent Arifai Tarawe had said that they were investigating the case under Section 507 of the Penal Code for criminal threats.
In a statement on Monday, National Union of Journalists (NUJ) secretary-general Chin Sung Chew strongly condemned the action by the anonymous party, and expressed hope that the case would be investigated and brought to court as soon as possible.