Creating Your Company’s Health & Safety Policy in Malaysia? Read This First

Blog
·
October 22, 2021
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By
Nicholas K

Malaysia appears to finally be recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, with all states nationwide having now progressed to Phases 3 and 4 of the National Recovery Plan (NRP) at the time of writing. But as workers begin to return to the physical workplace, the emphasis is now placed on employers to maintain SOPs in line with government guidelines to ensure that employees are able to perform duties safely. 

Meanwhile, 2021 is already drawing to a close — which also means that employers and HR professionals are already looking ahead to 2022. And with the pandemic highlighting the importance of workplace safety, you might already be thinking about updating your company’s Health & Safety policy for the coming year. 

With that in mind, here are some crucial things you need to know when — or before — creating a Health & Safety Policy for your company in Malaysia. 

The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) 1994

Occupational safety and health in Malaysia is covered by the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994 (OSHA 1994), along with the Factories and Machinery Act 1967 (“FMA 1967”) and the Petroleum (Safety Measures) Act 1984. However, the OSHA 1994 is the primary reference in Malaysia due to its widespread coverage of employees, with the following industries covered by the Act: 

Notably, this Act also makes it a mandatory requirement for all employers with more than 5 employees in Malaysia (and even self-employed individuals) to prepare a written Health & Safety Policy for the company. Employers are then required to notify all employees of the policy, and any potential changes to it in the future. 

What MUST employers provide in a safe workplace? 

Besides a written Health & Safety Policy, employers are also required to ensure the safety, health, and welfare at work for all employees — as much as possible. Generally speaking, this means that you need to:

  • Provide and maintain work systems that are safe and without risks to health
  • Ensure that employees can operate, handle, store, and transport tools and other equipment without health risks
  • Provide training and supervision to employees to ensure their safety and health 
  • Maintain the workplace to ensure that it is safe to use

As for enforcement, employers (or anyone, in general) who fail to prepare a health & safety policy are subject to a fine of RM50,000 or less, or jail time of 2 years or less, or both. This will be handled by the Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH), a government department parked under the Ministry of Human Resources in Malaysia. 

Additionally, employers must also refer to the standard operating procedures (SOPs) set by the National Security Council (MKN), which can be accessed here. Do note that SOPs differ based on the NRP Phase for the state where your business is located, so you’ll need to check on that on the official MKN portal here.

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How do you keep employees updated with the Health & Safety Policy?

Even as employees gradually return to the physical workplace, it’s worth noting that hybrid work models — and even remote work models — are continuing to be embraced by many employers in Malaysia. As such, it’s important to find a way to keep all employees updated on any crucial developments in SOPs, and your company’s Health & Safety policy. The latter, as mentioned above, is a requirement by law.

All of that can be best managed with the Documents module on altHR, Digi’s HR super app. The key to surviving — and thriving — in the new normal is digitalisation. With altHR, Health & Safety policies can be entered into the Documents module; this functionality allows HR to publish and share documents with limited visibility to other employees within an organisation. 

You’ll also be able to revise documents on the go, and for sensitive documents, enable password protection to maintain the utmost confidentiality. This also helps employees to keep track of their important documents, all within altHR. Plus, the Highlights module on altHR is probably the easiest way to keep your employees updated with any potential changes or updates to your Health & Safety policy — or any other important announcements.

And of course, all of that works seamlessly with the other modules in the new normal, such as leaves, expense and payroll management.

HR professionals are often faced with manual, repetitive, and often tedious tasks on a daily basis — tasks that have become even more difficult to handle in light of the ongoing COVID-19 situation. 

But help is available, if you know where to look. Let us streamline your HR processes by managing and automating day-to-day tasks, so you won’t have to worry about things like paperwork, privacy concerns, time-tracking, or onboarding challenges.

Sign up for altHR, the all-in-one digital solution that covers everything from payroll and onboarding, to staff management and providing employees with information kits. You’ve done it the old way long enough.

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