IPOH, Sept 3 — Workers who refuse to get their COVID-19 vaccine jabs can face action under the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act 1994 for causing an unsafe environment at the workplace.
Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan said although there was no legal provision making COVID-19 vaccination mandatory, the OSH requires employers to ensure safety and health of themselves and others at the workplace.
“The public can argue that there is no new act but the act related to safety at the workplace can still be enforced. We cannot take action if we see someone is not vaccinated. But we can take action because the place is not safe in terms of the environment,” he said.
He said this when met by reporters after handing over Social Security Organisation (Socso) benefits to the wife of a security guard who died after being bed-ridden for a long time following an assault by a tenant at a condominium in Taman Buntong Ria here, today.
Saravanan said the ministry would also check existing factories to ensure good ventilation under the same act.
As such, he urged all quarters to support the vaccination programme so as to ensure the country would be free from COVID-19 infections, especially at workplaces.
On Wednesday, Malaysian Society for Occupational Safety and Health (MSOSH) president Dr Shawaludin Husin was reported as saying that employers did not have the power to force employees to take COVID-19 vaccine jabs.
Shawaludin was reported to have said that coercion was not apt at this time because there was no provision under the law that made COVID-19 vaccination compulsory for any individual.