Malaysia's Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) of 1994 guarantees many rights and protections to the common worker. These rules and guidelines outline certain responsibilities that employers have to provide a safe and healthy work environment. These laws, also referred to as "Act 514," are overseen and enforced by the Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH). All employers in the nation of Malaysia must run businesses that fall in line with OSHA.
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OSHA contains a prevailing law clause, which states that while OSHA regulations and rules can be added to rules governing any industry, they do not replace all older labour laws. In Malaysia, OSHA is used as a general series of laws that must be met by all businesses, but individual industries that are also governed by other acts must also meet all the standards of those other laws. In cases of industries that have more than one set of labour laws, OSHA is a supplemental law, not a replacement of older acts.
General Duties of Employers
OSHA states that employers are responsible for the safety, health, and welfare of their employees "so far as practical." This phrase is somewhat defined in OSHA, with specific references to up-to-date maintenance and all up-to-code equipment, but the phrase is also intentionally vague to leave some room for interpretation. Many case files are included in any appendix of OSHA, which specifically deal with the interpretation of that phrase.
Penalties for acting in violation of OSHA can be very harsh. The law lays out specific penalties for multiple positions and organisations that can be in violation of the law in one way or another, but general penalties do exist even for violations that are not specifically listed. The general penalty is a fine of up to 10,000 ringgit, or up to one year imprisonment, or both.
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