A quick guide to the measures in managing a safe workplace, as well as a safe space for employees working from home.

With COVID-19 remaining a top concern in Malaysia, employers and HR teams should continue to implement appropriate safe management measures for employees, to reduce the risk of further outbreaks.

On that note, here is a quick guide to the measures involved in managing a safe workplace, as well as a safe space for employees who are working from home, as provided by the Ministry of Health.

While these measures apply as general guidelines, do always remember to keep in line with the relevant, ongoing movement control order SOPs laid out by the National Security Council from time to time.

Physical distancing for workplaces

Workplace measures

  • Encourage employees to stay home and notify workplace administrators when sick
  • If employees develop symptoms at work, avoid contact with fellow employees and inform employers (for screening/home surveillance)
  • Encourage staff to telework when feasible
    • In between departments
    • Interstate
    • Inter-organisation
    • When the employee is on home surveillance
  • Encourage a no-handshake policy
  • Increase physical space between workers at the worksite (one metre apart)
  • Stagger work schedules
  • Limit in-person meetings. If unavoidable, meeting should be short)
  • Avoid buffet settings for meals after meetings
  • Employees are encouraged to take their meals at their desk where possible
  • Avoid congregating in work and photocopier rooms
  • Avoid large work-related gatherings (e.g., staff meetings, after-work functions).
  • Avoid non-essential work travel.

 For further information on this, refer to Annex 25 - Management Guidelines for Workplaces.

Physical distancing for individuals and families at home

  • Those who have symptoms
    • Are advised to stay at home and self-isolate themselves
    • Avoid contact with family members (protective self-separation)
    • Avoid going out unless absolutely necessary (following precautions)
    • Avoid public transport where possible
  • Individuals at increased risk of severe illness (e.g. those with chronic diseases) should consider voluntary avoidance of crowded places e.g. large gatherings
  • Limit recreational or other leisure classes, meetings and activities
  • Consider getting home delivery food, medication or other essentials
  • Limit visitors
  • Establish ways to communicate with others (e.g., family, friends, coworkers) e.g. telecommunication
  • Consider online payment methods for payment of utilities etc.

Apart from the above, the Ministry also detailed the following set of measures:

Physical distancing for schools and childcare

  • Reduce the frequency of large gatherings (e.g., assemblies), and limit the number of attendees per gathering.
  • Alter schedules to reduce mixing (e.g., stagger recess, entry/dismissal times)
  • Limit inter-school interactions
  • Consider distance or e-learning in some settings or for students at increased risk of severe illness

Physical distancing for assisted or senior living facilities

  • Avoid large gatherings (e.g., group social events).
  • Alter schedules to reduce mixing (e.g., stagger meals activities, arrival/ departure times).
  • Limit group activities and programs with external staff.
  • Consider having residents stay in facility and limit exposure to the general community
  • Signage to deny entry to visitors who have symptoms
  • Limit visitors and screen them before allowing entry. (e.g. symptom screening etc.)

Photo / 123RF

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