Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Will the AG charge the employer for the death of the Nepali worker in Pokok Sena, Kedah? Will there be an autopsy to determine cause of death?

The police classified it as 'sudden death' - but when a worker dies, really there is a need for an autopsy - the cause of death is relevant - was it caused by by a disease/condition that is connected to his/her working environment/condition, and in the case of a migrant worker the accommodation conditions  provided by the employer? There is such thing known as 'occupational safety and health' - and if the death is caused by employment conditions, then there is liability for the employer, and compensation for the worker. If it is linked, then there may be need to improve the 'protection' for other workers so that they do not die or suffer some ailment caused by the working environment. So much investigations need to be done by various departments ...and if this is the 3rd death, then we may be looking also the failure of the relevant Ministry/Department and also the employer, should we not?

Was the employer holding on to the migrant worker's passport and employment pass, documents needed before government hospitals/clinics would admit and treat foreigners in Malaysia - likewise the migrant worker. So, would it not be the blame of the employer if the worker with breathing difficulty dies because of delay getting medical treatment? 

Now, most migrant workers do not have their own means of transportation - so, when employers house their migrant workers in places far from hospitals/clinics, it is the employer's responsibility to provide vehicles to immediately transport sick migrant workers to hospital/clinics for medical treatment - now, if the employer failed to provide this essential service or transport that could 'rush' their sickly migrant workers to a doctor... naturally, the employer may be responsible for the death.

Company will provide a vehicle and driver on 24 hour standby at the main hostel to facilitate the emergency transportation of worker to hospital for any emergency treatments.- this is what JCY HDD Technology Sdn. Bhd  has agreed to do, in respond to a similar situation

This JCY good practice must be followed by all other employers who use migrant workers, in fact it should be a standard practice(or requirement) for all businesses situated more than 5 Km from the nearest hospital, who maybe employ more than a 100 workers. See the JCY Press release after they resolved the issue with their migrant workers, which also started with a death...

Press Release
In response to the recent foreign workers issues at JCY HDD Technology Sdn. Bhd.’s sub-contractor hostels at Kawasan Perindustrian Tebrau IV, Johor Bahru, both the company and the foreign worker representatives have met this afternoon and the issues had been resolved amicably with the workers returning to work immediately.

Among the key issues highlighted by the foreign workers, the management had in conjunction with the sub-contactor for the hostel, shall take remedial actions as summarized below:

1. Company will provide a vehicle and driver on 24 hour standby at the main hostel to facilitate the emergency transportation of worker to hospital for any emergency treatments.

2.The company had agreed to revise and standardize the pay structure of the workers.

3. The criteria for the deduction of salary in relations to worker coming to factory late shall be revised and improved.

4. On top of the normal workmen compensation benefits, the company had agreed to improve the contribution to the beneficiary of the worker.

The management of the company stressed that JCY had always aim to provide a conducive environment for the workers to work and stay. The company will continue to work closely with the hostel’s sub-contractor to take care of the workers welfare and JCY truly valued the contribution made by the workers and staffs to the success of the company.

Photo of company & foreign worker’s representatives after the conclusion of the meeting at JCY’s Tebrau office.

Should you need any additional information or clarification, kindly write Source:- 

Hence, there is a need for a thorough investigation, and questions need to be answered

1- Was the death caused by the negligence or actions/omissions of the employer? If yes, will the Public Prosecutor charge the employer for the death? Will actions be taken by the Ministry of Human Resources?

2 -If  the death is caused by reasons of employment conditions (maybe the lack of personal protective clothing/equipment, etc) - what is the relevant Ministry going to do about this? Will legal actions be taken against the employer? Will the employer be required to improve working conditions to increase safety and health protection of their workers? Wonder whether a proper autopsy was done with regard the earlier deaths ... 

3. If the cause of death is because of the employer's actions/ommissions, then the deceased worker's family would have a legal case against the employer and will be entitled to compensations and damages ... remember even migrant workers do have spouses, children, parents and dependents

4. Did the employer provide for 24-hour driver and vehicle which can transport workers to hospitals in cases of emergency? Really, this should be made a legal requirement - sad to see workers die just because of delay caused getting them to the hospital...

5. Did the death have anything to do with the standard of worker housing - really Malaysia must have laws that stipulate the minimum standards of housing for workers.


See also:- 

Did Malaysian Government investigate alleged deaths of workers at Besgrade Products Sdn Bhd?

Workers urge employer to get sick worker healthcare - employer calls police - worker dies - media call it 'Riot"?

Remembering the JCY's 5,000 Workers Protest 2010 - maybe the biggest workers' protest in Malaysia for many years


'Probe death of three Nepalis at sawmill'

PSM has lodged a police report, urging investigations into a timber company in Pokok Sena, Kedah, whose alleged negligence led to the death of at least one of three Nepali workers there.

According to central committee member Rani Rasiah (left), the third death on Jan 11 may have been avoided had emergency medical care been provided.

Instead, three of the 200 workers who had gathered outside their employer's residence at the sawmill, urging medical assistance for him, were arrested by the police, she said in a statement.

“They urgently needed to send a fellow-worker, who was having difficulty breathing, to hospital. As there was no public transportation they had to seek their employer’s help.

“The workers were anxious as, just a month earlier, two Nepali workers with similar symptoms had died. Their deaths were classified cryptically as ‘sudden death’.”

Instead of rushing the worker to hospital, their employer contacted the police who dispersed the workers and made the arrests. In the meantime, the ailing worker died.

In its police report, PSM accused the timber company of “criminal negligence” for not providing medical aid to the worker, which resulted in his death.

The party also sought a probe into the cause of all three deaths, to determine if this is linked to exposure of chemicals at the workplace or at the workers' hostel, or food consumption.

“This tragic and totally unacceptable episode raises questions on the irregularities and inadequacies of the departments involved in the procurement and management of migrant workers in Malaysia,” Rani said.

“Why did the police arrest the friends of the victim and not the employer whose inaction led to the worker’s death?

“Was the Department of Safety and Health aware of (the situation) and did they investigate the cause of breathing difficulties and sudden death among the workers?”

She also questioned if autopsies were carried out to determine cause of death, and if the workers' families were compensated.

Malaysiakini has contacted the company and is withholding its name pending its comments.

Workers’ complaints

At a meeting with PSM, the workers had complained about inadequate safety measures at the factory, and claimed that there were no facilities for workers to move in and out of the factory or hostel.

According to a report in The Star, 200 Nepali workers demonstrated at the sawmill in Pokok Sena on Jan 11 for two hours before being dispersed.

Kota Setar Traffic and Public Order chief Mat Akhir Jaafar confirmed that three men were arrested to facilitate investigations.

He also said that the three deaths have been classified as ‘sudden death’. - Malaysiakini, 22/1/2014, 'Probe death of three Nepalis at sawmill'

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