KUALA LUMPUR: Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs) at the workplace must be given priority, especially relating to occupational safety and health (OSH), says Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye (pic).
The Alliance for Safe Community chairman said questions should be raised whether the current SOPs are sufficient to stem the spread of the virus that has already shown signs of mutating.
"New SOPs may be needed. Some additional warning bells have already been sounded, especially about living, working and dining in closed surroundings that lack proper ventilation or in air-conditioned offices and restaurants.
"When office workers return to their offices after a long spell due to the movement control order, the air conditioning systems in their place of work may not have been well-maintained. Merely re-circulating the air has its attendant risks," he said on Sunday (Jan 17).
He added that it is important to ensure that the air-conditioners are conditioned to maintain indoor air temperature and humidity at healthy and comfortable levels.
He also said that it is important to ensure proper ventilation.
"Air-conditioners must be regularly serviced, preferably by qualified and reputable technicians.
"This precaution must also be extended to public vehicles and private cars that are air-conditioned. Occasionally opening the windows may be necessary to allow fresh air to circulate inside," he said.
If help is needed, Lee said employers should seek the assistance of OSH professionals who are in the best position to coordinate with other leading agencies - local and international - to provide relevant, timely and key information.
"They can also advise on such issues as occupancy density, indoor airflow and aerosol sprays. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994, employers and building owners are required to provide safe workplaces.
"Among others, a safe workplace is where the air quality is not compromised due to chemical or biological contaminants," he added.
Saving lives and protecting the health and welfare of the people are the core concerns of these professionals who can advise both the public and private sectors on the best ways to protect workers, clients and their families, Lee said.
"It goes without saying that we must always be vigilant against the spread of viruses like Covid-19.
"It behoves all of us - the Government, the private sector, voluntary organisations and individuals - to take all precautionary measures without fail or compromise.
"The currently-prescribed precautionary measures are to wear a mask, to clean hands regularly, and to keep a safe distance from others," he said.
Did you find this article insightful?
89% readers found this article insightful