Learning & Development Asia 2024
Malaysia ratifies ILO Convention No. 155 to strengthen occupational safety and health

Malaysia ratifies ILO Convention No. 155 to strengthen occupational safety and health

This convention mandates the adoption of a coherent national occupational safety and health policy and outlines actions to be taken by the government and employers to improve workplace safety and health.

As part of national measures to strengthen occupational safety and health, Malaysia has ratified Convention No. 155 Occupational Safety & Health, 1981(No. 155), in conjunction with the International Labour Conference in Geneva, Switzerland. 

This convention mandates the adoption of a coherent national occupational safety and health policy and outlines actions to be taken by the government and employers to improve workplace safety and health.

The ratification document was deposited by Minister of Human Resources Steven Sim on 11 June 2024 (Tuesday). As affirmed by the Ministry of Human Resources (KESUMA) in its statement, this measure marks a positive action by Malaysia in improving the country's labour standards, especially in the area of occupational safety and health.

At the same time, this step will complement the implementation of policies and legislation related to national occupational health and safety, following the amendment to the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994 [Act 514] (Amendment) 2022 [Act A1648] which came into force on 1 June 2024.

Among other things, the latest amendment to Act 514 emphasises the employer's responsibility to ensure safety in the workplace, expands the legal coverage of Act 514 from the previous 10 sectors to all economic sectors, improves safety and health training in the workplace, and introduces provisions for employees' rights to isolate themselves from high-risk workplaces.

Per KESUMA's statement, this ratification step aims to "accelerate the country's efforts" towards achieving a target of 8.8 under the Sustainable Development Goals, which stresses the protection of labor rights and promoting a safe and secure work environment for all workers.

The government has held discussions and consultations with tripartite partners namely the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) and Malaysian Trades Union Congress, and also sought the views of the International Labour Organisation before making a decision to ratify Convention C155. KESUMA will hold an information session for all stakeholders including the media about this ratification and its compliance requirements. This step is expected to lead to increased safety and health at workplaces across the country.

In response to the above, the Malaysian Employers Federation has released a statement expressing its support for the government's decision to ratify ILO Convention No. 155 on Occupational Safety and Health.

MEF President, Datuk Dr Syed Hussain Syed Husman noted that the decision reflects a collaborative effort between the government, employers, unions and international bodies to prioritise the wellbeing of the workforce.


Lead image / Ministry of Human Resources (KESUMA) Facebook

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