KUALA LUMPUR, June 24 — More than 150 road accidents involving food delivery services using motorcycles were recorded from March to June 2020, according to statistics from the Social Security Organisation (SOCSO).
Its head of Prevention, Medical and Rehabilitation Division, Dr Azlan Darus said the expansion of gig economies and ride hailing services during the current COVID-19 pandemic had led to the increase in crashes involving e-hailing riders.
“The number kept increasing and by the end of the year, more and more crashes were happening and for these reasons, work-related safety is an important issue that needs to be tackled in terms of protection, and also prevention,” he said during the Vision Zero Webinar Series: Work-Related Road Safety, today.
The webinar was jointly organised by SOCSO and the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (MIROS), as part of their initiative under Vision Zero Malaysia.
During his keynote speech, Azlan said commuting accidents had increased almost 83 per cent in the past 10 years from 20,810 road crashes in 2009 to 38,142 in 2019 and the number of fatalities was three times higher than the fatalities caused by industrial accidents in 2020.
He said the SOCSO social studies showed that over 55 per cent of accidents involving employees occurred within five kilometres to their workplace and 65 per cent of commuting crashes involved young people under the age of 40, of whom 80 per cent were male workers.
“Most of the accidents occurred because of fatigue and rushing to reach the destination on time and each year, more than RM1 billion in compensation was provided for injuries and death due to road crashes.
“However, the impact of crashes goes deeper. Beyond the monetary aspect of compensation, it triggers psychological and social impacts on the family and society,” he said.
Meanwhile, SOCSO chief executive officer, Datuk Seri Dr Mohammed Azman Aziz Mohammed in his welcoming remarks said in an effort to strengthen social security protection for self-employed individuals including gig workers facing the COVID-19 pandemic, SOCSO had devised three contribution-matching self-employed social protection programmes under the government’s economic stimulus packages.
The initiatives, which come under the provisions of the Self-Employment Social Security Act 2017, are PenjanaGig, SPS Lindung and SPS Prihatin Wanita.
“These programmes provide protection for self-employed insured persons against employment injuries including occupational diseases and accidents during work-related activities,” he said.