Safe workplace plan initiated

Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob. -filepic

PUTRAJAYA: There are plans to reduce accidents, deaths and infections at the workplace to boost the Malaysia Well-being Index, as well as create a safe and healthy work culture, said the Prime Minister.

Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said that in order to do this, the Occupational Safety and Health Master Plan was drawn up, spelling out several strategies to boost safety at the workplace.

In formulating the plan, he said the authorities took into consideration changes in the workplace due to Covid-19.

“Today, the homes of the Malaysian Family are also a work space. Such is also the scenario in cafes and restaurants.

“Therefore, it is important that the strategies – which emphasise a safe work culture – must be practised by all,” he said at the virtual launch of the master plan yesterday.The 2021-2025 master plan, among others, is aimed at strengthening occupational safety and health (OSH) in the public sector, ensuring better OSH compliance among small and medium industry players, and boosting the culture of OSH in the informal and future jobs sectors.

The Prime Minister pointed out the importance of adhering to OSH health regulations, citing that neglect could result in losses of about 4% of the country’s gross domestic product.

“What is more important is that by ensuring good practices at the workplace, the loss of lives of our Malaysian Family can be avoided,” he said.

Ismail Sabri said the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted all aspects of work, adding that the spread of the virus at the workplace had become an occupational risk that demands a sound response from the government, employers and workers.

He said workers also have to face a global environment that is more competitive as a result of the pandemic, with drastic changes made and the need to adapt to a new normal, such as working from home and increased online activities.

“What is worrying is that these changes also expose the workforce to a different kind of safety and health risk, such as poor ergonomics arising from extended use of the computer or gadgets, and pressure on mental health arising from being restricted in daily movements, other than curbs on social interaction.

“This new situation demands the government take affirmative action to ensure a healthy, safe and conducive environment for our workforce.”

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