According to Department of Occupational Safety and Health, from January to October 2017, there are total 3,246 occupational accidents and 206 deaths. Which means, 9 occupational accidents occurred every day. Manufacturing sector has the highest industrial accident, 1691, but construction section has the highest fatality rate, 63 workers died out of 177 reported accidents. The fatality rate has increased from 4.21 in 2014 to 4.84 in 2016 (per 1,000 workers).
Usually, workers do not receive reasonable compensation if they encountered occupational accident due to lack of insurance, low wages and age. Many accidents happened because of negligence of employers in providing safety and health regulations, workers’ right to decent work and right to life were violated.
Human rights defender Charles Hector explained that Employment Act was only for labour whose wage below RM2,000. If you were not in the category, your labour rights would be dependent on the employment contract signed between the company and you. Thus, you have to be careful of worker’s welfare stated in the contract, including annual leave, sick leave and the others. He criticised the government for disallowing general union, the employers use various tactics to curtail labour rights such as sacking union leaders, union busting and the others. Both the government and employers must respect workers’ freedom of association and right to organise. He urged workers to rethink the social norm that everyone must have a house, because when a worker is in debt, he or she would tend to not challenge the employer even though they were treated unfairly. This will discourage political change and fostering an attitude of obedient.