Employers must use suitable vehicles to ferry workers with Covid-19

PUTRAJAYA (June 15): The Human Resources Ministry has reminded employers who have to ferry their workers for purpose of screening or quarantine to use suitable modes of transportation to ensure the safety and welfare of the workers and the public.

In a statement on Monday (June 14), following the case involving a lorry transporting a group of positive Covid-19 foreign workers, the ministry said it took cognisance and was concerned over the incident in Sungai Petani, Kedah.

Subsequently, it said the Peninsular Malaysia Manpower Department (JTKSM) and Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) would see and study the matter following the Workers' Minimum Standards of Housing and Amenities Act 446 and the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994 (Act 514).

“The ministry urges employers to take appropriate action in curbing the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic among workers, especially during these challenging times,” he said.

He stressed that the ministry would not compromise with any employer who flouts the law.

It was reported that police detained a lorry with 48 workers on board who were positive Covid-19 and wearing pink bracelets in Sungai Lalang, Bedong on Sunday (June 13). Pictures of the incident went viral on social media.

Kuala Muda district police chief, ACP Adzli Abu Shah was reported as saying that the 48 men were among 135 workers of the chicken processing factory in Sungai Lalang, Bedong who were confirmed positive Covid-19 and that the lorry was ferrying back the 48 workers to their hostel, after an examination at the Kuala Muda District Health Centre (PKD).

Earlier, 87 of their colleagues had been taken back from the Kuala Muda PKD.

According to Adzli, the lorry driver was also issued a summons for an offence under Section 23(2) of the Road Transport Act for using a Motor Vehicle License (LKM) for other purposes.

The management of the factory would be investigated under Section 22(a) of Act 342 Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases 1988 and Section 269 of the Penal Code for negligence that could spread diseases that endanger lives, he added.

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