Vital to establish safer working environment as more economic sectors reopen, says Sarawak minister


Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian. - Filepic/The Star

SIBU: Workplace outbreaks have been identified as among the top three causes of Covid-19 clusters in Sarawak, which currently has 141 active clusters.

According to Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian, employers and employees need to take precautionary measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Dr Sim said a safer working environment needed to be established as more sectors reopened.

"New work life norms: How can we go back to work in a safer way without bringing the virus home?" he asked in a Facebook post on Thursday (Sept 16).

He called on employers to ensure that all workers are fully vaccinated against the virus; to make daily self-declarations of health status mandatory, even on rest days; and to screen workers who are unwell for Covid-19.

He said workers who are awaiting swab test results should not be allowed in the workplace and made to work from home, if possible.

Dr Sim said mandatory use of face shields, work processes permitting, should be enforced in addition to face masks.

Additionally, employers should ensure good ventilation at the workplace, especially in the pantry and canteen, and adequate physical distancing both at work and in workers' quarters.

Other measures include regular testing of employees using self-test kits and strict adherence to standard operating procedures (SOP) as well as guidelines issued by the Sarawak disaster management committee and local authorities.

“Employees can avoid contracting the disease by double masking, abiding by SOP and informing the employer immediately if they have been in contact with a positive case.

"We will need everyone to do their part to slow the transmission of Covid-19 so that our hospital facilities, doctors and nurses would not be overwhelmed by soaring cases," he said.

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