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  • Johor state records 56 deaths because of accidents mainly at construction sites - The Star Online

Johor state records 56 deaths because of accidents mainly at construction sites - The Star Online

The Star Online, 19 December 2014 - by Norbaiti Phaharoradzi

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Safety first: Omar (right) receiving a souvenir from Foo at the seminar while MBAM deputy president Ir Tee See Kim (left) looks on.

JOHOR BARU: Safety at construction sites has become a major concern with 56 deaths recorded this year which makes Johor rank top in contributing to the fatality accident at the sites.

Many of the deaths were due to falls, hit by falling objects and also buried by the construction materials at the worksite, said Johor Occupational Safety and Health department (JKKP) director Omar Mat Piah.

“From the 56 cases, 26 are accidents occurred in the construction site, 15 in manufacturing sector and nine from the agricultural sector.

“We identified over 600 registered and active construction work across the state and most of the sites are based in Johor Baru, where most falling accidents take place and that 62% were just getting a C grade (standard) for the safety measures,” he told reporters after launching the Occupational Safety and Health in Construction Industry and SHASSIC 2014, at a hotel here.

The department had noticed an increase in the construction of high-rise buildings over the past few years, which could be a factor in the number of worksite fatalities.

Among other factors that lead to the accidents are the unauthorised crane conductor, lack of Safety and Health Officer (SHO) also Site Safety Supervisor (SSS), no allocation budget for the occupational safety and health as well as those who did not adhere with the rules and regulations given.

Omar added that a slew of safety programmes and campaigns had been introduced to reduce such fatal incidents, including actively engaging developers and main contractors to create a safer environment for workers.

“If the sites are deemed unsafe for work, those in charge could be served with stop-work order until the problem is rectified,” he said, adding that the department could also impose a fine or even charge the companies involved in court,”.

He added that the department would also conduct regular checks at sites to ensure that developers and construction companies adhered to occupational safety rules and regulation.

Meanwhile, Master Builders Association Malaysia (MBAM) deputy president Foo Chek Lee who was also present at the seminar said the purpose of the seminar was to enhance the standard of safety and health at construction work sites.

“We will create awareness among the employers and construction personnel on the importance of practicing high standard of occupational safety management and to share best practices with industry practitioners.

“A spate of safety and health related incidents highlighted in the media and also recorded by JKKP these past few months have diminished the image of the industry,” he said.

He also added that Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) Malaysia, Occupational Safety and Health Department (DOSH) and MBAM have been striving to foster a safety culture in the industry through seminars, award schemes, competitions and exhibitions.

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