PETALING JAYA: Holidays should be accident-free, says National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye.
In a statement, he said businesses and tour operators in the hospitality industry have a responsibility to ensure that tourists enjoy a safe vacation.
"Occupational safety and health (OSH) plays an important part in the hospitality and tourism industry to prevent accidents, injuries and fatalities," he said, adding that operators of outdoor activities such as snorkelling, scuba diving, flying fox and bungee jumping should ensure that their guests stay safe.
Lee argued that it was time the hospitality industry came up with its own OSH policy.
"OSH plays an important part in the hospitality and tourism industry to prevent accidents and injuries and fatalities. If OSH is not practised, it can lead to accidents.
"Therefore, commitment to OSH makes good business sense for the tourism and hospitality industries," said Lee, adding that although accidents could happen, there were measures to lower the probabilities.
"Accidents can be reduced if we make prudent and cautious work practices part of our culture. Meticulousness about safety must be a core value for both employers and employees," he said.
The hospitality industry employed many people, including suppliers, vendors and contractors, who may be exposed to hazards such as burns, falls and being crushed by machinery.
"For example, there are many activities connected with housekeeping such as bed-making, vacuuming, carrying trays, placing items on shelves, handling laundry trolleys, as well as loading or unloading of washing machines.
"Elsewhere, many hotels provide their guests with outdoor activities like mountain climbing, hiking, scuba diving, snorkelling, water rafting, flying fox, wall climbing, bungee jumping and many more.
"These activities involve technical and high risks," said Lee in underscoring the multitude of risks faced by both staff and guests.
Therefore, procedures, emergency response teams as well as first-aiders are needed for any emergency, he said.
"Considering all these factors, I suggest that it is time for all hospitality industry players to push for OSH for their industry."