PUTRAJAYA: The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (Niosh) will introduce ‘OSH (Occupational Safety and Health) in School’ programmes to help the Education Ministry raise awareness on safety and health at work in schools. Niosh chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said the programme was part of Niosh efforts to make schools safe places for study and work. “Niosh has introduced a pilot programme to more than a dozen schools with the sponsorship from corporate organisations. “Over the years, there were reports of accidents in schools, involving teachers, students and staff such as collapse of building structures, ceiling fans, goal posts and toilets. “Therefore, safety and health are of paramount importance to schools. Safety issues can include school buildings, toilets, canteens, laboratories and school fields,” he said in a statement. The OSH in School programme covers another dimension and views school as a workplace, in accordance with the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) 1994. In the case of schools, the working people are teachers, administrative and other support staff while the “others” are those affected by activities of the working people who primarily would be the students. Lee said the application of OSHA to schools as places of work aimed to make them safe and healthy for teachers, students and visitors. “This programme is aimed to ensure safety, health and welfare of the workers; to protect students against risk to safety and health in connection with the activities of persons at work; and to establish a safe and healthy working environment involving the office, laboratory, canteen, toilet, hostel, fields, and others. “Through the ‘OSH in school’ programme, NIOSH hopes to recommend to schools the importance of good OSH management as a solution to all problems related to safety at work in schools,” Lee said. Lee said OSH awareness should not be limited to teachers and schools staff alone but must be extended to the students. He said this could be done through OSH education, awareness, training and exhibitions.
Source: New Strait Times