Policy Brief

Impacts of the chemical and pharmaceutical industries on the environment and working conditions in Malaysia: Capacity-building of workers’ organizations for a Just Transition

This policy brief has been developed through research done as part of a project aimed at building the capacity of trade unions concerning the ILO Guidelines for a Just Transition and encouraging them to launch campaigns aimed at securing a safe, secure and sustainable environment, society and workplace for all.

Briefing note | 31 July 2023
There are many chemical substances and products that are being put in the Malaysian market, which lead to an uncertainty on the types of chemicals used in a wide range of consumer products and other products. All stakeholders should be involved in making efforts to design and implement pathways towards a growth scenario that is economically viable, environmentally sustainable, and socially inclusive and responsible for safety and health of workers and communities in order to achieve Just Transition that creates more decent work whilst limiting the adverse impact on the environment. This policy brief highlights the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) requirements and current Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) practices in chemical and pharmaceutical industries in Malaysia. The main challenges related to environmental impacts and the implementation of OSH in the workplace are also highlighted while addressing several ways to cater the environmental impacts and OSH compliance in the industries, as well as the initiatives to improve the implementation of OSH at the workplace. This policy brief also addresses the market forces which drive the industries towards sustainable business practices. Collaboration between related parties plays an important role in achieving this aim. Just Transition seems to be viable with the cooperation from all the stakeholders related to the industries along with the promotion and enhancement of decent working condition, safe living conditions and sustainable business practices of chemical and pharmaceutical industries in Malaysia.