Main image via The Straits Times + Business Insider Malaysia
With the haze getting worse and worse every day, schools have been asked to close for the safety of the children.
But what about the adults who are risking their health by heading out to go to work every day?
The Human Resources Ministry has a solution for that.
As reported in Bernama, the ministry has recommended that employers implement flexible work policies and allow their workers to work from home during the haze period.
The matter was raised by the ministry at a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, where it is the responsibility of employers to ensure the safety and health of workers.
“It is important for employers to carry out risk assessments, take appropriate measures and to determine the need to come to work to ensure risks can be minimized,” said the ministry in a statement.
“Labour laws in Malaysia do not prohibit employers from specifying a place of employment other than those specified in a contract,” the statement continued. “Depending on circumstances such as haze or flood, workers can work from home as a temporary measure until conditions are restored.”
Image via South China Morning Post
The Occupational Health and Safety Act 1994 (OSHA) states that the Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) may order any occupation that’s affected by the haze to be stopped in a situation that poses a danger to the safety and health of the worker.
Employers who are found to be not complying with the Stop Work Order under OSHA could be fined up to RM50,000 or imprisoned for not more than five years or both. A further fine of RM500 for each day that the offence continues will be put in place for those refusing to cooperate.
The Human Resources Ministry said that employers should begin putting preparations in place to protect their workers’ safety and health against the effects of the haze. This includes identifying workers at risk, such as those with heart or respiratory problems, and setting a criteria for stopping outside work.
The ministry also said that bosses should ensure that employees with medical symptoms such as sore throat and cough, red and watery eyes, sneezing, itching and breathing difficulties, to get medical attention immediately.
They also noted that employers should “identify the types of outdoor work that could be minimised, conduct proper respiratory device tests for workers who need to work outside, ensure the N95 breathing apparatus is used, improve efficiency of air purification devices for work and implement haze communication systems between employers and employees.”
Image via TODAYonline
We think that this is definitely a step in the right direction!
Do you think that employers should allow their employees to work from home because of the haze? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!
Info via Bernama