Pan-Borneo Highway project hits outstanding milestone

Safri (second from left) putting a helmet on a motorcyclist to launch the road safety campaign. Looking on are Safuani (on Safri’s left) and managing director Mohd Zaidee Hipni (right).

KUCHING: As of Oct 25, the Pan-Borneo Highway Sarawak project has clocked over 11 million man hours without lost-time injury (LTI) in its construction so far since work commenced in October 2015.

According to Lebuhraya Borneo Utara Sdn Bhd (LBU) chief executive Safuani Abdul Hamid, six of the project’s 11 works packages had each achieved one million man hours without LTI, contributing to the overall 10 million achievement.

LBU is the project delivery partner for Pan-Borneo Highway Sarawak.

“This achievement of the 10 million mark did not come easily as we are managing a project with 11 different works packages at different locations covering a construction length of 786km under Phase One.

“We are now raising the bar by setting a new target to achieve 20 million man hours without LTI by December next year,” Safuani said at a ceremony to mark the achievement at the Telok Melano-Sematan work package site office in Sematan on Thursday.

The six packages that achieved one million man hours without LTI are Telok Melano-Sematan; Sematan-Sungai Moyan; Pantu Junction-Batang Skrang; Bintangor Junction-Julau Junction and Sibu Airport-Sungai Kua Bridge; Sungai Kua Bridge-Sungai Arip Bridge; and Mile 5-Nyabau Flyover and Jalan Bakun Junction-Sungai Tangap.

The 10 million mark was reached two months ahead of schedule.

Safuani said LBU took health, safety, environment and traffic (HSET) seriously.

“An average of 1,863 workers, from project managers to general workers, are based daily at the 25 sites of the 11 works packages.

“As of today, we have an estimated 5,990 workers registered at all the 11 works packages a month,” he said.

He added that the best practices adopted by this single largest infrastructure project in the state included well-equipped centralised labour quarters, traffic management at construction sites and an emergency response team.

Infrastructure Development and Transportation Ministry permanent secretary Datuk Safri Zainuddin said a safe work culture must be in place to ensure that no life was compromised.

“Injury, however slight, must be avoided at all costs as the welfare of the workers should not be taken for granted.

“Not only would productivity be affected if any of the workers are injured or succumb to work-related accidents during the course of their duty, their family members will also suffer as the workers may be their sole breadwinner.

“So the welfare of the workers must be the top priority.

“No one must neglect safety measures to ensure that everyone is safe,” he said.

Safri also said the Pan-Borneo Highway Sarawak project was a huge challenge as it was being constructed on a “live road” with thousands of vehicles commuting along the construction stretches daily.

He advised the main contractors to put in place proper traffic management to ensure road safety.

“I also put forward a challenge to LBU and the contractors to continuously improve your HSET practices and standards.

“Look for further improvements and innovations to raise the benchmark of HSET in Sarawak,” he added.

Safri and Safuani later launched the Pan-Borneo Highway Sarawak’s HSET road safety campaign to promote safe driving among motorists.

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