Putrajaya Wants Employees Working From Home Amid Haze

Employers can be jailed or fined if they violate a stop work order.

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 19 – The government today encouraged employers to allow their staff to work from home if the haze deteriorates.

The Ministry of Human Resources (MOHR) noted that under the Occupational Safety & Health Act 1994 (OSHA), the Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) could order affected work to stop if the haze posed an immediate danger to workers’ safety and health.

Under OSHA, once an order is out, anyone failing to comply with the order can be subjected to a fine not exceeding RM50,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or to both, and to a further fine of RM 500 for each day during which the offence continues.

“The primary responsibility for ensuring an employee’s safety and health at work lies with the employer,” said MOHR in a statement today.

“Hence, it is incumbent upon employers to carry out a proper risk assessment and to implement appropriate measures, including specifying when to restrict work, so as to ensure that risks identified are minimised or mitigated.”

Apart from that, MOHR also listed down risk assessment steps for employers to follow during the haze.

The steps included encouraging medical help for susceptible employees and those with medical symptoms related to haze, reducing outdoor activities, determining criteria for stopping outdoor work; conducting respirator fit testing for employees who need to work outdoors; ensuring sufficient stock of disposable N95 respirators; improving efficiency of air cleaning devices for workplace and equipment; and implementing a haze communication system between employer and employees.

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