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A "new normal" in Indonesia: Health ministry's guidelines for workplaces

A "new normal" in Indonesia: Health ministry's guidelines for workplaces

Indonesia's health ministry has urged employers to allow employees who can work from home to continue doing so, as part of the government's ongoing efforts to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmissions.

This was highlighted as part of the Health Minister's Decree No. HK.01.07/MENKES/328/2020 concerning Guidelines for the Prevention and Control of COVID-19 in Office and Industrial Workplaces in Supporting Business Sustainability during a Pandemic.

Minister of Health Dr. Terawan Agus Putranto said the business community and workers' community have had a major contribution in breaking the chain of transmission, given the large number of workers and mobility involved, as well as interactions within the population which are generally caused by work activities.

"The workplace, as a locus of interaction and gatherings, poses a significant risk that we need to anticipate." Further, the framework for large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) released last month also highlighted the need for restrictions at workplaces in order to accelerate the handling of COVID-19. 

"Therefore, it is necessary to carry out efforts to mitigate and prepare workplaces as optimally as possible, so they can adapt to lifestyle changes during COVID-19 and in the new normal."

[ALSO READ: Locals and visitors entering Malaysia to pay for mandatory quarantine from 1 June]

In line with that, the guidelines for businesses and workers in the country to note, are as follows:

  • The management should always monitor and keep employees updated on COVID-19 developments in its area of operations, by referring to this website provided by the government, as well as relevant government updates. 
  • The management should also form a team/taskforce dedicated to handling COVID-19 measures at the workplace, and ensure cleanliness and hygiene at the workplace. Where possible, increase the number of hand-washing facilities.
  • Make work-from-home a requirement as much as possible, while essential workers can still return to the office if needed. While at the workplace, workstations and other facilities should be set at least one metre apart.
  • Implement daily temperature taking at the entrance of the workplace, and ensure employees assess their risk levels, so they do not risk coming to work and infecting their co-workers. Employers should also require employees to wear masks while travelling to-and-fro the workplace, and at the workplace itself, and make sure they maintain a safe physical distance at all times. 
  • Continue educating workers on the pandemic, by providing materials on information such as causes and prevention measures, how to recognise symptoms, how to report suspected cases, and more. 
  • Encourage employees to exercise together before the start of work, but keep in mind to maintain a safe physical distance; at the same time, urge employees to eat healthily and maintain a well-balanced, nutritional diet.

Commenting on the above, Minister Terawan said: "Applying this guide is expected to minimise the risks and impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the workplace, especially offices and industries, where there is potential for transmission due to the gathering of many people in one location."

[ALSO READ: Tripartite advisory on safe management measures at workplaces post-circuit breaker in Singapore]

 Lead image / Stock

Infographic / Cabinet Secretariat's website

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