As Malaysia embarks on the recovery phase of the Movement Control Order (MCO), the safety and wellbeing of the people in the country continue to be a priority alongside efforts in reviving our economy. One way of ensuring this is in the development and implementation of standards for numerous items that have, in today’s day and age, become an essential part of our daily lives. These standards will subsequently act as a benchmark in assuring the quality, safety and efficiency of the items.
While demand for these items has increased tremendously, so too have cases of consumers being cheated or hand sanitisers that either do not contain the required alcohol to be effective or are too strong and not friendly to the skin. These incidents are rife because there are no clear guidelines to follow. This is not only an issue for consumers but also affects industry players who do not have a basis to benchmark their products.
With that in mind, SIRIM has risen to the challenge. Currently, SIRIM STS Sdn Bhd (SIRIM STS) is in the midst of developing standards focusing on non-medical face masks, face shields and hand sanitisers. According to Salmah Mohd Nordin, Head for WTO/TBT Enquiry Point, Technical Information and Consultancy Section under the Standard Research and Development Department at SIRIM STS, “When the pandemic started, countries began enforcing limited movement or even total lockdown, which caused considerable panic among the people and economies to grind to a halt. Now, we need to revive our economy and get it back on track, and industries need to be able to quickly resume operations at full scale.
“However, with no end in sight yet for the pandemic, people are still concerned about safety. In addition to being vigilant and observing the required standard operating procedures (SOPs), they need some form of assurance and guidelines on the more commonly used protective items, so they will have better peace-of-mind as they go out and contribute to the economy.”