John has been working as an electrical technician in construction of buildings for several years now and recently took on a new project. Unfortunately, the building site is lacking of important safety measures, for examples inadequate amount of helmets provided, some of the electrical wires on the construction sites are exposed without any cover and no safety vest provided. After repeatedly addressing the matters to Darren, his employer, John still does not see any improvement in the safety measures being taken.

Besides, being a typical businessman and in order to save the operational cost, Darren thinks it is not necessary to provide these measures as long as his employees can carry out the work effectively and denies that it is his duty to provide these safety measures. Is this true?


Pursuant to section 15 of Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994 (“the Act”), it is the duty of the employer to ensure, so far as is practicable, the safety, health and welfare at work of all his employees.

That duty includes the provision and maintenance of a working environment for his employees that are, so far as is practicable, safe, without risks to health, and adequate as regards facilities for their welfare at work.

A person who contravenes the provisions of section 15 shall be guilty of an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding fifty thousand ringgit or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or to both.

In our case, Darren shall provide all the necessary safety tools and equipment, including safety boots, attire and helmet and also ensure the working environment is safe for his employees, which is to cover all exposed electrical wires. Notwithstanding that, John may lodge a complaint regarding this matter to the Department of Occupational Safety and Health, Ministry of Human Resources. The details as follows:-

Level 4 (Main Counter), Block D3, Complex D, Federal Government Administrative Centre, 62530 Putrajaya
Tel: 03 – 8886 5343
Fax: 03 – 8871 1200

However, please take note that this Act is only limited to the following fields:-

  1. Manufacturing;
  2. Mining and Quarrying;
  3. Construction;
  4. Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing;
  5. Utilities: (a) Electricity; (b) Gas; (c) Water; and (d) Sanitary Services;
  6. Transport, Storage and Communication;
  7. Wholesale and Retail Trades;
  8. Hotels and Restaurants;
  9. Finance, Insurance, Real Estate and Business Services; and
  10. Public Services and Statutory Authorities.

So, how much did you know about this Legal Myth?

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