Please be informed that based on the guideline issued by the Department of OSH and the Department of Environment, the fine particulate matter or PM10 (particulate of size 10 micron and below) in smoke haze is the main pollutant effecting health of humans.
2. Under Sec. 15 the Occupational Safety & Health Act, 1994 (OSHA), employers have a duty to protect their employees’ safety and health at work. In a worsening haze condition, the Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) may order the affected work to stop. If any person fails to comply with a stop work order issued by DOSH, under the OSH Act he shall be liable on conviction to a fine of not exceeding RM 50,000.00 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years or to both, and to a further fine of RM 500.00 for each day during which the offence continue.
3. Therefore, employers and employees should be vigilant and alert at work by adhering to the following guidelines as suggested by DOSH:
a)…Identify susceptible employees (Employees with heart or respiratory illness);
b)…Identify employees with medical symptoms related to haze and ask them to seek medical treatment. Identify employees with medical symptoms related to haze and ask them to seek medical treatment
e.g. .– Throat itchiness and coughing;
……..– Irritated and watery eyes;
……..– Running nose and sneezing; and
……..– Itchy skin;
……..– Difficulty in breathing and/or breathlessness
c)…Identify types of outdoor work (Work that is carried out outside buildings regularly or most of the time) to be reduced when there is haze;
d)…Determine criteria for stopping outdoor work;
e)…Conduct respirator fit testing for employees who need to work outdoors;
f)…Ensure sufficient stock of disposable N95 respirators;
g)…Improve efficiency of air cleaning devices for workplace and equipment; and
h)…Implement haze communication system between employer and employees.
4. Monitoring the API Index and measures to be taken
Employers are advised to refer to the following guide as recommended by DOSH in managing employees work activities. Download here: Guidelines Haze at Workplace Dosh Ver 2