Mohd Azhar, Technical Specialist for Fall Protection, demonstrates the importance of body harnesses and anchorage when working from heights.
Fall protection is commonly taken for granted as the employer’s responsibility, when it is both the role of the employer and employee. Global science company 3M Malaysia, is walking the talk to ensure that businesses, especially in the oil and gas industries, as well as the public, remain aware of the importance of fall protection.
“We want to create awareness, that it is not only the employer’s responsibility, it is also your responsibility as a person who is working with such hazard, to be able to have the autonomy to ask for it, to be aware of it,” says Michelle Loh, senior marketing manager for personal safety division.
When it comes to spreading awareness about the necessities of fall protection, it can be quite a challenge, she says. There are numbers to show that the probability of falling from heights is very high, resulting into a high number of incidents. Malaysia encountered an average annual incident of 9.2 fatal occupational injuries per 100,000 workers from the year 2000 to 2013. In comparison to countries such as the United States with four per 100,000 workers, and the United Kingdom with 0.71 per 100,000 workers, Malaysia has some catching up to do.
The company caters to personal safety, which is applicable to many industries. “If you look at our personal safety, the hazards can be simple particulars like sawdust, haze or chemicals,” she says. Any hazard that can be detrimental to one’s health, she assures us that 3M has the protection.
While the oil and gas market has been affected for the past few years, 3M Malaysia experienced less activity in the upstream and downstream market, along with many oil and gas businesses. However, there is some potential opportunity with the downstream market. “If you look at downstream, there is still a lot of maintenance going on, there is still upkeep going on,” she says.
Besides the oil and gas industries, 3M Malaysia plays in many other non oil and gas industries as well, such as transportation, agriculture, automotive transportation, chemical, healthcare and general manufacturing. She adds, “3M believes in creating awareness in situations and letting customers know the value of our solutions.”
As for the future of 3M Malaysia, Loh is hopeful that the awareness will be more apparent to not just the employer and employees of Malaysia, but to the public as well. Many more campaigns, like the recent one on occupational safety hazard, held on Wednesday in the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, will be coming up to send a message to the public that 3M Malaysia wants to bring the workers home safely.
There will also be many other public relations events to promote the importance of personal safety.
3M Malaysia offers a variety of Personal Protective Equipment that cater to various industries together with product training to help workers and employers understand the importance of personal safety