Contractors carry out preventive measures at worksites

Safety first: Foreign construction workers complying with social distancing rules at the Tun Razak Exchange project site in Kuala Lumpur.

KLANG: Contractors in Selangor are exercising caution to prevent Covid-19 infection among their workers.

H.H. Tan, who owns a tile and flooring company as well as a construction company, said he ensured his 14 Indonesian workers have ample personal space.

“I have a double-storey house for them and each bedroom has one to two occupants only.

“I have also forbidden any socialising with outsiders and have taken it upon myself to do all their shopping for them, ” he said.

Tan said since they could resume work when the conditional movement control order (MCO) came into effect, he ensured social distancing was practised at the workplace.“We are working at a slower pace and I do not bring all my workers to the site at once, ’’ said Tan, adding that he has also sent all his workers for Covid-19 testing.

The workers’ temperatures were taken and recorded every morning before they go to the worksite.

Meanwhile, state investment, industry and trade, small and medium industries committee chairman Datuk Teng Chang Khim said the Selangor government was helping the Health Ministry in its efforts to detect and curb Covid-19 infection among construction workers.

“The state cannot take the lead on this matter and thus we are doing everything possible to complement the initiatives taken by the ministry, ’’ said Teng.

This included having a budget to go towards carrying out screening of construction workers and providing whatever else was required by the Health Ministry.

“For instance, if the ministry has insufficient personal protective gears, we will provide them with these, ’’ said Teng, adding that the Health Ministry was doing the right thing to stem Covid-19 cases in the construction industry.

Teng said sending home undocumented workers who were Covid-19 negative as well as random testing was the only viable option at the moment.

Meanwhile, state health, welfare, women empowerment and family committee chairman Dr Siti Mariah Mahmud said RM2.06mil has been allocated by the Selangor government for screening of high risk groups.

“We’ll be having a meeting with Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari, the state health department as well as Selangor Task Force for Covid-19 on June 1 to determine all the high risk groups for screening, ’’ said Dr Siti Mariah.

She added that PPEs were also being produced by the state’s Women Development Centre in collaboration with Hospital Banting.

In Sabah, things are rough. Many construction sites are not running due to employers’ inability to get their workers tested for Covid-19.

Sabah Builders Association (SBA) president Lou Chi Nam said that feedback from SBA’s 100-odd members was that most of them would not begin work until June – and if the conditional MCO were to be over.“One of the requirements to start operating is that these workers must have gotten tested for the virus and results obtained, ” he said. “But since many are not able to, mainly due to the cost, they cannot operate, ” he said.

Lou said those who could afford to pay for their workers’ swab tests also had to wait for a long period as there was a limit to the number of tests health officials could conduct in a day.

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Covid-19 , Coronavirus , MCO


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