Why Are Directors Not Charged Over Workplace Accidents Ngos Ask Ag
The NGOs said 6,686 workplace accidents were reported last year, resulting in 174 workers being killed and 249 becoming disabled.PETALING JAYA: The attorney-general (AG) and the human resources minister must explain why directors and officers are not charged when their companies breach the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994, say rights groups.
In a statement, a group of 15 NGOs asked why those responsible for worker safety and health were not charged when their companies’ breach of the act resulted in deaths or injury of workers.
“Prosecution for offences under this act requires the consent of the public prosecutor.
“One wonders whether it is the public prosecutor or the minister who decides to charge only the company, but not the director, manager, secretary or other such officers, even when workers are killed,” the group said.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994, directors, managers, secretaries and other similar officers can be charged in the same legal proceedings as their companies for violations of the act.
According to the group, there were 6,686 workplace accidents last year, resulting in 174 workers being killed and 249 becoming disabled.
They said a state-linked company was recently found guilty of neglecting safety aspects that resulted in a worker’s death, but was only ordered to pay RM15,000 in fines and RM5,000 as compensation to the worker’s next of kin.
“What is of concern is that no decision-maker or owner of these companies was charged for these offences.
“Every time a company is charged for such offences, the persons responsible for the omissions that resulted in the violation of the law must also be charged.”
The group said the current RM50,000 maximum fine for violating the act was to be increased to RM500,000 under the Occupational Safety and Health (Amendment) Act 2022, but this has yet to be enforced. - FMT
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