Monday, September 06, 2010

Workplace & Occupational Hazards

Workplace is the second home for all workers as they spend about one third of their daily time at workplace. Workplace and Workers form a mini ecosystem. The hazards existed at workplace always threat the health of the worker. In order to protect the health of the worker, these hazards must be identified and list in the hazards inventory then rate its effect on the health. This process is called Hazards Identification and Rating. After this is done, check OSHA 1994 and FMA 1967, to find out which regulations is related to the particular hazards and comply accordingly. In the next process, called Risk Assessment, find out who are exposed to these hazards. Evaluate their exposure and then do the Risk Assessment by analysing and determine the probability of its occurrence. After this is done, Control the risk according to the severity of the risk assessment which normally found on the Risk Assessment Matrix(RAM). The whole process is called HIRARC. For generic HIRARC guideline, refer here

Sunday, September 05, 2010


Above is the Graphic Presentation of the main FOCUS of Occupational Health Services (OHS). The core framework of OHS is PREVENTION. As a famous adage says: PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE.
The PREVENTION FRAMEWORK is obtained by 3 strategies :
1. PROTECTION of workers health and safety from Hazards and their Risk at workplace
2. PROMOTION of health to the workers so that they have knowledge and skill to empower them to safeguard their own health.
3. ERGONOMICS Implementation by humanising the workplace and work task so that it is fitting to the capability of the workers physiologically and psychologically.
In order to memorise the strategies, I called it PPE Strategy. PPE here is not acronym for Personal Protection Equipments (PPE) but just a mnemonic to recall the 3 strategies namely Protection, Promotion and Ergonomics. PPE is formed from the first alphabet of each strategy and all SHO Practitioner is familiar with the term PPE. So PPE Strategy is a good mnemonic to recall these 3 strategies.
Source: My Slide lecture to EDOSH Students Batch 4 Kuching 2010


I attended Medical Review Course for the first time in December 2005 at Subang Jaya Resort and alhamdulillah I passed the exam. After a lapse of 5 years, on 24 and 25 July 2010, I attended the MRO course for the second time at Dynasty Hotel, Kuala Lumpur. The course was organised by Academy of Occupational and Environmental Medicine Malaysia (AOEMM). 34 participants who are Appointed Medical Examiner(AME) for PETRONAS,SHELL,EXXON MOBIL and PMU attended the course. The course was coordinated and supervised by 3 resources person who are the leading Occupational Physician in the country namely Dr Abu Hasan Samad of Exxon Mobile, Dr Abdul Halim Mohamad of SHELL and Dr Mohd Hatta Usul of PETRONAS.
MRO is a medical doctor who is trained on how to verify testing on drug abuse and implement Drug and Alcohol Free Workplace Program. It is an American model.

Photos from National RTW Conference 2010

One of the 'OKU' who participates in RTW program received acknowldegment from the Minister

A big banner explaining what is 'Return To Work Program'.

A booklet of the conference program was given to the participants


I attended National Return To Work (RTW) Program organised by SOCSO at Sunway Piramid Convention Centre on 26 and 27 July 2010. About 1000 participants attended the Conference from the whole Malaysia. The conference was declared open by Minister of Human Resource Malaysia, YB Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam. 7 lectures were presented during the conference by international and local speakers. On the first day, Mr. Hans-Horst Konkolewsky, the Secretary General of International Social Security Association (ISSA) presented the first lecture entitled: Dynamic Social Security - Investing in People.
Early RTW is a program initiated by SOCSO in their effort to implement 'Prevention Before Rehabilitation Before Compensation' strategy in handling a complex workplace injury faced by the workforce in Malaysia. In order to Return To Work early, the injured workers need to attend Rehabilitation. For those who contributes to SOCSO they can claim the cost of Rehabilitation from SOCSO. The National Rehabilitation Centre located in Melaka, spearheaded by SOCSO will be ready by the end of the year.
This big step taken by SOCSO is a new era of Dynamic Social Security System in Malaysia which stressed more on Prevention and Rehabilitation rather than just paying Compensation. The success of this effort is also depending on the 'open and receptive mind' of the Human Resource(HR) Practitioner to adopt 'Disability Management' in their HR policies. This RTW program needs full support from the organisation as well as the worker. In order to make RTW program a successful national project, all of us have to learn to unlearn the 'traditional model of social security role' concept embedded in our mind.