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  • ‘Safety awareness among construction companies low’
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  • Archive News
  • 2013
  • ‘Safety awareness among construction companies low’

‘Safety awareness among construction companies low’

Borneo Post Online, 19 March 2013

news 19032013
SAFETY FIRST: Hatta (right) presenting a certificate of competency to a worker at the site of the Unimas student hostel.

KUCHING: Only 25 per cent of construction companies in the state involved in projects worth more than RM20 million hire qualified site safety supervisor at their project site.

Department of Safety and Health (DOSH) state director Mohd Hatta Zakaria told reporters this after launching Ops Tapak Bina at the project site of a student hostel for University Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) yesterday.

“All companies involved in projects worth more than RM20 million must hire a certified site safety supervisor.

“But as of last year, only 24 out of 68 such projects were complying with the rule,” said Mohd Hatta.

This was compounded by the fact that 40 sites were high risk while 68 mid risk and the rest, engineering worksites. There are a total of 166 sites in Sarawak.

He said companies not complying with the rule can face compounds up to RM1,000 or a stop work order on their project site.

Mohd Hatta said the construction industry should emulate the oil and gas sector where safety and health were given priority.

“The level of safety awareness in the construction industry is still far behind that of the oil and gas sector, particularly in Bintulu and Miri,” he said.

Earlier at the event, Hatta said DOSH has issued contractors four prosecutions, 12 compounds, 30 prohibition notices and 53 notices for improvement.

“Such notices were issued due to failure to report accidents, not hiring a qualified site safety supervisor, no safe work procedure, unsafe work environment and unregistered construction site,” he said.

He said DOSH’s operation this year will focus on 59 construction sites in the state: 32 in Kuching, nine in Sibu, and the rest in Miri. The operation will be from March 18 to 22.

“DOSH hopes that from the operation, sites previously graded D and E will be upgraded to A, B or C,” he said.

“As of last year, 166 construction sites have been registered with DOSH involving 40 high risk sites, 68 mid risk sites and the rest engineering worksites.

“DOSH has since conducted 180 audits on the sites which revealed improved performance,” he elaborated.

Hatta said 11 of the sites remained under grade A and B, 33 sites improved from grade C to Grave A/B, 37 sites from grade D/E to A/B and 29 sites from D/E to grade C. But 12 sites were downgraded to grade C and D/E.

Last year the state recorded 12 cases of injuries, three cases of permanent disability and 10 fatal cases — all at the workplace.


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