PAPAR: SMK Benoni here today became the latest school to adopt National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health’s (NIOSH) school awareness campaign in Sabah.
NIOSH chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said among educational institutions that have participated in the campaign over the last three years were SM Teknik Likas, Universiti Malaysia Sabah, SM Vocational Tawau, SMK Sanzac Kota Kinabalu (KK), Institut Sinaran KK and SM Sains Mara Sandakan.
Lee said regular safety audit in educational institutions was vital in ensuring safety of buildings including schools, institutions of higher learning and government offices.
“I believe it is the responsibility of authorities such as the education ministry and Public Works Department to see to it that safety audits on buildings are conducted from time to time to prevent accidents or other risks.
“The same thing applies to schools…it is imperative that building constructors make sure there are regular safety audits performed to allow relevant authorities to ensure every part of the building is in good order,” Lee told reporters after launching the Occupational Health and Safety (OSH) in School Awareness Programme 2016, here today.
The OSH campaign — launched nationwide since 2002 — was held to promote a safety culture in schools by raising safety and health awareness among teachers and students, and to encourage good occupational safety and health practices and management.
Lee hoped with the latest campaign teachers in SMK Benoni would gain a deeper understanding of occupational safety and health at their workplace, and play a more active role in helping to prevent accidents or injuries in areas
such as offices, canteens, labs, toilets and fields.
“Poor maintenance of buildings and lack of funds may cause problems for residents and the public. Under the law, all workplaces including schools with over 40 staff are required to form a safety and health committee to oversee
health and safety issues,” he said.
Earlier in his speech, Lee stressed that a school was regarded as a workplace and was subject to provisions under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) 1994.
“In the event of disasters such as explosions or other accidents at school resulting in injuries to teachers, students or visitors, the school management is liable for investigation by the Department of Occupational Safety, Safety and
Health (DOSH),” he added.
SMK Benoni principal Mozidah Hamzah told Bernama that around 300 students from form one to six were taking part in the campaign which would help realise the Ministry of Education’s ‘Safe School’ (Sekolah Selamat) programme.
“We will be focusing on reducing hazards in labs, classrooms, wash rooms and school fields in the campaign. We hope also to impart to students the dangers of vandalism in surrounding areas to prevent unnecessary physical injuries,” she said.- BERNAMA