Workplace Covid-19 infections have been a major contributor to clusters.
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The government introduces an initiative to ensure that the nation’s manufacturing and related services sectors can operate safely and with better accountability during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced the “Safe@Work” system which contains Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) and guidelines on the creation of a Safe Work Bubble (SWB) for the sector.
How does it work?
The SWB will isolate groups of workers such as in factories and hostels into their own bubbles.
If there is an infected patient detected in Bubble A, workers in that group who’ve had close contact with the individual can continue working in isolation while waiting for their test results.
Meanwhile, those in Bubble B who had no contact with the former group would still work as usual.
MITI made a Safe@Work FAQ sheet
The International Trade and Industry Ministry’s (MITI) FAQ sheet on the program explains that the Safe@Work system would work complementary with the general SOPs issued to the manufacturing sector.
The Ministry said the system would help protect workers from infections and ensure that employers provide a conducive living and working environment for employees.
Companies however would need to register and be audited on their compliance with SOPs to qualify for the Safe@Work program.
The program would also give additional tax breaks for participating companies that provide accommodation to workers and conduct Covid-19 screenings on employees.
Registrations can be made at the Covid-19 Intelligence Management System (CIMS) beginning 1 April.
Covid-19 outbreaks in Malaysia have been closely linked to infections happening at the workplace. In October 2020, it was reported that around 30% of Covid-19 clusters in the country were traced to workplace infections.
International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali also mentioned that cramped and crowded accommodations made available to workers contributed to the problem.
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