KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Psychological Association (MPA) today suggested that any proposed amendment to the Occupational Safety and Health Act (Osha) 1994 should include a provision to provide a supportive environment to foster mental wellbeing at every workplace.
Its patron, Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye, in a statement, said accidents at the workplace were not only caused by poor work safety practices but were also due to mental health issues.
“The government and employers must be aware that neglect of mental health and psychosocial factors at the workplace is not only detrimental to the individual worker, but also directly affects productivity, efficiency and output of any organisation.
“A specific provision must be included through amendments to the Osha 1994 to address mental health issues, including providing support for employees with mental health problems,“ he said.
Meanwhile, Lee also proposed that all Safety and Health Committees under Osha should include activities related to mental health.
At present, he said the functions carried out by the Safety and Health Committees had nothing to do with mental health.
Mental health disorders have reportedly been on the rise in every country in the world and could cost the global economy up to US$16 trillion between 2010 and 2030 if the collective failure to respond is not addressed.
“There is no workplace that is immune to mental disorders and their impact in psychological, social and economic terms is high.
“Mental health issues at the workplace should no longer be ignored as these could cost employers and the country billions of ringgit if not properly addressed,“ Lee said. — Bernama