I REFER to the letter “Industries must self-regulate safety in the workplace” (The Star, Sept 14).
Indeed, self-regulation and enforcement should be in place to ensure safety in the workplace, and this must include the provision of first-aid boxes and regular training for the nominated personnel on how to respond during emergency situations involving the lives of workers.
Section 25 (1) (c) of the Factories and Machinery Act 1967 states: “there shall be provided and maintained so as to be readily accessible a first-aid box or cupboard of the prescribed standard and when more than one hundred and fifty persons are employed at any one time a suitable first-aid room of the prescribed standard shall also be provided and maintained.”
The Factories and Machinery (Safety, Health and Welfare) Regulations 1970 further specifies the requirement to have a trained first aider available at all times.
Every person in the workplace must also know exactly where to get a first-aid box when the need arises.
Very often, a first-aid box is the most forgotten item in the workplace until an accident occurs. Similarly, first-aid training is often not considered until audits for safety or certain standards, for example ISO (International Organisation for Standardisation) certifications, are required.
First aid is a practical skill that requires regular training and a certificate of competency, which is renewable every three years. However, during the movement control order (MCO) period, face-to-face training programmes/courses have not been allowed for obvious reasons.
With people gradually returning to the workplace under the National Recovery Plan, it would be wise to check the first-aid boxes immediately to remove any expired items or replenish depleted stock.
I also hope the government will consider relaxing the standard operating procedures (SOP) for essential training courses like safety and first aid.
Considering that schools and learning institutions are also opening soon, training in small class sizes should be allowed albeit with strict adherence to SOP.
CHEW HOONG LING
Manager (Quality Management)
St John Ambulance of Malaysia