DOSH: Safety measures to be stepped up - The Star Online
The Star Online, 31 Oktober 2015
KUCHING: With several mega projects set to be implemented in Sarawak, the Occupational Safety and Health Department (DOSH) will step up efforts to improve safety and reduce accidents on construction sites.
State DOSH director Mohd Hatta Zakaria said it would take proactive measures to raise awareness on workplace safety and health, including carrying out inspections and audits of construction sites.
He said punitive action, such as issuing stop-work orders and compounds, would be taken against employers who failed to comply with safety and health regulations after repeated reminders.
“For us, punitive action is secondary. We hope that proactive steps will help reduce the accident rate and the punitive action we have to take.
“Usually about 80% to 85% of employers will comply with the requirements under the Occupational Safety and Health Act and the Factories and Machinery Act.
“There are about 20% of contractors that we need to push to comply with the regulations. As you know we also have mega projects in Sarawak such as the Pan-Borneo Highway, Baleh dam and Balingian power plant, and these are the ones we will focus on,” he told reporters after opening an occupational safety and health seminar here.
The seminar was organised by Master Builders Association Malaysia, Construction Industry Development Board and Sarawak Building and Civil Engineering Contractors Association.
Mohd Hatta said 26 workplace accidents were reported in construction sites from January to September this year with six fatalities, one case of permanent disability and 19 non-permanent disabilities.
He said the department had also inspected 229 out of 252 registered construction sites so far this year.
“From our inspections, the majority of sites comprising 36% were given grade C, followed by grade B (25%), grade D (15%) and grade E (11%) while only 13% received grade A.
“For sites with grades C, D and E, we will carry out repeat inspections within three to nine months,” he said.
He added the sites with C, D and E grades usually failed to comply in areas like basic housekeeping and scaffolding specifications for high-rise projects.
“The majority of fatal accidents at construction sites are caused by falling or being crushed by falling objects.”