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Companies Asked to Appoint Health, Safety Officers to Help Battle Covid-19

July 30, 2020, 06.24 PM

JAKARTA, - Indonesian Labor Minister Ida Fauziyah has called on companies to appoint health and safety [H&S] officers following the proliferation of Covid-19 clusters in offices throughout Indonesia during the transition large-scale social distancing phase.

“We urge the appointment of these officers to anticipate and prevent the spread of Covid-19 in workplaces,” Antara state news agency quoted Ida as saying on July 29.

Also read: Jakarta Offices with Covid-19 Positive Workers Told to Shut Down for Three Days

“We expect H&S officers can encourage companies and their employees to apply proper health protocols such as wearing masks and practicing social distancing, as we try to adapt to new habits to prevent Covid-19.”

Ida also encouraged business owners to carry out initiatives like the Healthy Employee Movement to orient employees in the new health protocols.

“We hope programs like the Healthy Employee Movement can ensure the employees’ safety, health and productivity.”

Covid-19 Task Force member Dewi Nur Aisyah agreed. “Offices should be equipped with facilities to prevent the spread of Covid-19 during work hours and help the employees apply health protocols.” 

Cover-19 Task Force member Dewi Nur Aisyah at a talkshow on 29 July 2020Dok. BNPB Cover-19 Task Force member Dewi Nur Aisyah at a talkshow on 29 July 2020

“Health protocols are ineffective without the facilities to back them up. On the other hand, facilities are optimized if [H&S officers] are on hand to play a monitoring and regulatory role.”

But Dewi added that H&S officers are only a part of the mechanism to prevent Covid-19. “[Containing Covid-19] is a team effort. You cannot have [HS officers] practice health protocols while everyone else neglects to do so," she said.

Also read: Jakarta Authorities Warn of Potential Covid-19 Clusters in Workplaces

"If feasible, every [office floor] should have the health facilities to help H&S officers to monitor them. Measures like ensuring that only 50 percent of employees, or even less, like 25 percent, are in the offices at any one time, so as to prevent overcrowding.”

Dewi noted that other health protocols for office spaces are just as vital. “Using disinfectants to sterilize offices, should be done at least twice a week,” she said.

“The management should also open windows routinely to enable air circulation and prevent Covid-19 transmission through droplets.”

Dewi pointed out that the authorities still have their work cut out for them. “The number of Covid-19 clusters in offices around Jakarta have increased by nine times. As of this week there have been 90 clusters with 459 people stricken by Covid-19.”

Covid-19 Task Force spokesman Wiku Adisasmito has announced that offices are one locale for Covid-19 clusters in Indonesia, along with traditional markets, houses of worship, health facilities, and malls.

(Writer: Dian Erika Nugraheny | Editors: Kristian Erdianto, Krisiandi)


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