KUCHING: Occupational accidents involving workers increased last year with a total of 79,696 accident cases (interim numbers) reported throughout the nation.
Social Security Organisation (Socso) chief executive officer Datuk Seri Dr Mohammed Azman Aziz Mohammed who revealed the figure said, “About 75 percent or 7 of 10 workers were killed due to accidents on the roads.
“In 2019, of the 79,676 occupational accidents reported to Socso, 47.9 percent were commuting accidents.
“Of the 959 fatal accidents, 73.5 percent were due to commuting accidents. In 2018, there were 72,631 accidents involving workers with commuting accidents accounting for 48.5 percent of them.
“A total of 888 fatal accident cases were recorded during the year, of which 75.1 percent were due to travel accidents.”
Azman added that in Sarawak, 3,630 occupational accidents were reported to Socso last year, of which 1,131 cases were commuting accidents.
“There were 85 fatal accidents and 49 were the results of accidents while travelling.”
Azman pointed out that as the number of accidents increased, Socso’s spending on social security benefits as well as the rehabilitation of affected workers increased.
“In 2018, Socso’s total expenditure for travel accidents involving death, disability and employee injuries was RM688.9 million.
“This amount increased to RM729.1 million (interim figures) last year. This is a direct impact of the financial costs of the accidents,” he said during the closing of the Road Safety Awareness Programme at the Kuching South City Council (MBKS) auditorium.
However, the psycho-social impacts of occupational accidents, especially commuting accidents, such as losing a family member, community member, co-worker and others were priceless, he added.
Azman said road accidents in the country were still at an alarming level even though various campaigns and programmes had been and would be conducted by the Royal Malaysia Police Force (PDRM), Transport Ministry and other government agencies such as Road Safety Department, National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (Niosh) and Socso.
“For example, 183 deaths were recorded during the 12-day ‘Ops Selamat’ held by PDRM in conjunction with the Chinese New Year celebration since Jan 18, 2020.
“Motorcyclists and their passengers contributed to the highest death toll with 119 victims. During the same period, 18,830 accidents were recorded,” he said.
On the one-day Road Safety Awareness Programme at the MBKS auditorium, Azman explained that it was a continuous initiative by Socso and PDRM in collaboration with MBKS in raising public awareness at all levels, especially among workers and transport drivers.
The campaign also focused on areas of frequent road accidents and PDRM G-40 blackspot areas in an effort to reduce accidents and fatalities in the areas.