,The Safe@Work initiative will enable close contact workers to continue working under a new protocol, known as the safe work bubble, said Senior Minister cum International Trade and Industry Minister Azmin Ali.He said the initiative will help to prevent disruption of company operations and reduce the adverse impact on productivity in the event of a positive Covid-19 case in business premises. “Close contact workers will be isolated from the local community as well as other workers until they have been certified as Covid-19 negative,” he told a media briefing today.Azmin said among other things, the initiative emphasises the establishment of a safe work bubble for close contact workers in factory areas and employee accommodation premises.It also calls for companies to establish a Covid-19 Emergency Preparedness and Response Team to prepare and implement procedures to manage emergency cases.“Companies need to set up a dedicated team to ensure the level of compliance and internal audit outlined under this initiative.“We want to empower the industries. Self-reliance is important and industries too must be part of efforts to ensure the safety and health of workers by adopting this new approach,” he added.He noted that currently, close contact workers must be quarantined and are not allowed to work until they have been certified Covid-19 free after undergoing a health screening.Azmin said Safe@Work was a proactive measure by the ministry as it is taking a serious view of the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic in manufacturing premises as well as related services sectors.As of March 16, he said the Health Ministry has reported that the manufacturing sector accounted for 58.1 percent or 184 clusters of Covid-19 cases.Safe@Work is a standard operating procedure (SOP) that can be implemented by companies in the manufacturing sector, requiring employers to provide safe accommodations for employees as well as comply with the Minimum Standards of Accommodation and Housing for Employees Act 1990 (Act 446).It outlines responsibilities relating to the management of employees who are Covid-19 positive, close contacts, health screening as well as measures to prevent transmission among employees.- Bernama
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