Safety and Health Officer in Malaysia
This analysis is done through the lenses of the Occupational Safety and Health (Safety and Health Officer) Regulation 1997 – which we’ll refer to as the SHO Regulation 1997 – made by the Minister under the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994 (OSHA 1994).
Qualifications, Validity, Cancellation and Refusal of Safety and Health Officer(SHO)
No one may act as a Safety and Health Officer unless he is registered with the Department of Occupational Safety and Health (r.4, SHO Regulations 1997). To qualify the applicant must meet the following requirements (r.6, SHOR1997):
- Holds a Diploma or Degree in Occupational Safety and Health recognised by the Department of Occupational Safety and Health;
- Completed DOSH recognised training in OSH and passed the necessary exams, with at least 3 years experience;
- Have had at least 10 years experience in OSH; or
- Holds other qualifications or training as prescribed by DOSH.
A registration is valid for 3 years.
A registration of a SHO can be cancelled by DOSH (r. 13, SHOR1997) on the following grounds:
- No longer working as SHO;
- Convicted of an offense under OSHA 1994;
- Obtained registration by misrepresentation or fraud.
DOSH has the right to refuse registration on several grounds (r.9, SHOR1997). They are:
- The applicant is not working as a SHO;
- The applicant has been convicted of any offense under OSHA 1994;
- The applicant fails to prove that he has had a continuous education or training 3 years before the application.
Duties of Safety and Health Officer (SHO)
Safety and Health Officers, irrespective of their occupational titles, are required to do a set of things. While their roles may vary according to company, their basic responsibilities can be found in the SHO Regulation 1997.
Regulation 18, SHO Regulations 1997 outlines what a SHO must do:
- Advise the employer on measures to be taken in interest of OSH in the workplace;
- Inspect the workplace for harmful hazards;
- Conduct investigation on any incidents, accidents, occupational diseases or poisonings;
- Organise and impliment OSH programmes at the workplce;
- Act as Secretary of the Safety and Health Committee;
- Collect, analyse and maintain OSH records;
- Assist any officer discharging his duties under OSHA 1997 and the regulations;
- Execute other instructions from the employer pertaining to OSH at the workplace.
Regulation 19, SHO Regulations 1997 imposes the duty to report on the SHOs. By the 10th day of every month, the SHO must submit a report to the employer. Among others, the SHO must report:
- Any action taken by the employer to comply with the OSHA 1997;
- Ways and means to keeping a safe and healthy workplace environment;
- Incidents at the workplace;
- Harmful machinery, plant or work process.