guidelines, risk assessment, checklist, employers in malaysia, covid-19

Bookmark this: A checklist of risk factors to assess, and control measures to note, along with the relevant COVID-19 testing regime to put in place depending on how much your organisation scores on its risk level.

The Disease Control Division of Malaysia's Health Ministry has updated its guidelines for employers to conduct a risk assessment at the workplace, to determine the risk status of the setting for COVID-19 testing.

This forms a part of the National Testing Strategy, which was developed to determine the testing needs of Malaysia in living with COVID-19. 

Why employers must carry out risk assessments, and what the guidelines are for

According to the Division, based on Section 15 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994, employers are responsible for the safety, health, and welfare of their employees, and therefore would need to conduct an assessment of the workplace's risk status in order to determine testing needs.

The risk status is specific to each workplace, and is dependent on various indicators. 

Thus, the guidelines released by the Division have been designed to assist employers in carrying out this assessment for exposure to COVID-19. A checklist of indicators has been included, representing the hazards and control measures to prevent COVID-19.

Based on the results obtained by the assessment, the employer will then be able to select the appropriate testing strategy to implement at their workplace.

How to use the risk assessment checklist

  • Employers are to assess each indicator based on the existing status of the workplace.
  • For every indicator, the employer should place a tick (√) for a positive response, or a cross (X) for a negative response to each question.
  • In the event an indicator is deemed irrelevant, the indicator should be dropped from the list altogether, i.e. removed from the denominator.
  • The risk assessment should be conducted every two weeks.

Indicators for assessing risk at the workplace

  • Risk factors
    1. Vaccination status
    2. Accommodation of workers
    3. Occurrence of clusters
    4. Prolonged clusters
    5. Shared workers or shared transport
    6. Physical distancing
  • Control measures
    1. COVID-19 Preparedness & Response Plan
    2. Ventilation system
    3. Safety & health officers/committee
    4. New norms practised in the workplace.

Checklist of indicators for assessing risk at the workplace

   Indicators of risk
                  Risk factors    √ / X
1. Is the vaccination status of employers & employees ≥ 90%?  
2. The employer does not provide accommodation (in-house/shared)*  
3. Absence of cluster declared by PKD   
4. Cluster was controlled within 28 days   
5. No shared workers or shared transport   
6. Ability to maintain physical distancing of one metre in work areas/stations, etc.  
 *Accommodation provided according to the requirements of Act 446 (Amendment) 2019 on Workers’ Minimum Standards of Housing and Amenities Act 1990.
   Indicators of risk
              Existing control measures    √ / X
1. COVID-19 Preparedness and Response plan available  
2. Ventilation system maintained per manufacturer’s schedule  

3. *Presence of Safety and Health Officer in workplaces >100 employees, or *Safety and Health Committee in workplaces with >40 employees

 
4. New norms are practised at the workplace: Public health & social measures
(e. g. mask usage, hand hygiene, temperature screening on entry, staggered break times, staggered shift)
 
5. No shared workers or shared transport   
6. Ability to maintain physical distancing of one metre in work areas/stations, etc.  
*Requirement under Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994 (Act 514).

Scoring system to determine the level of risk

The following scoring system applies:

priya nov 2021 malaysia moh covid 19 risk assessment workplace scoring system moh

Testing strategies to apply based on level of risk obtained

  • Low risk (>80%)
    • Only test workers with symptoms
  • Intermediate risk (60-80%)
    • Testing of workers with symptoms
    • Testing of close contacts without symptoms, who are at high risk (unvaccinated, have comorbidities).
  • High risk (<60%)
    • Testing of workers with symptoms
    • Testing of close contacts without symptoms, who are at high risk (unvaccinated, have comorbidities).
    • Periodical testing of workers without symptoms, once in two weeks.

The Division has stressed that employers are encouraged to conduct testing beyond these recommendations, if deemed necessary and if they have the capacity to do so. Employers must also comply with the testing requirements determined by the health authorities.

Refer to the guide here.


Lead image and infographics / Disease Control Division, Ministry of Health Malaysia