MPK gets tough on factories for cramped workers’ dorms, poor hygiene

Workers of a factory in Klang found living in cramped conditions during an inspection in December last year. — Filepic

CROWDED and cramped living conditions at workers’ dormitories were the main offences the Klang Municipal Council (MPK) Health Department noted in Klang and Port Klang.

Health Department director Azmi Muji said the council’s health inspectors had conducted random checks at 104 factories at Pulau Indah, Bandar Sultan Suleiman and Meru, and found living conditions at 25 dormitories to be very poor.

“Our officers noticed too many workers living in one room.

“Even the sleeping areas with double-decker beds and mattresses placed on the floor were too close.

“Operators of the dorms had failed to implement physical distancing measures, ” he noted.

Azmi said other than the cramped conditions at the living quarters, the toilets, shower cubicles and cooking areas showed a lackadaisical attitude towards hygiene.

“Our health inspection measures are to keep workers’ safe and the prevent the community from Covid-19 infection by getting the factories to comply with the standard operating procedures.

“Dorm operators at the factories were warned not to compromise on hygiene standards and to ensure that workers were not given cramped lodgings, ” he added.

Last week, MPK ordered 37 factories, including a bread manufacturer in Pulau Indah, to shut down due to positive Covid-19 cases, failure to follow the SOP and poor living conditions for workers.

All 37 factories were shut down for a week.

The council will continue with random checks under Act 342 (Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988).

MPK president Dr Ahmad Fadzli Ahmad Tajuddin said the 37 factories had to be temporarily shut down for thorough sanitisation and swab tests for workers.

“We also want factories to improve the living conditions of workers, ” he added.

Dr Ahmad Fadzli said although the measures could be seen as tough, the council had to do it to prevent infections from spiraling.

“The matter could be worse as it might demand a total lockdown and this would cause factories to suffer more, ” he pointed out.

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