Niosh: It’s a matter of public interest ‘

PETALING JAYA: The public should be informed of crane-related incidents which resulted in deaths as these cases are a matter of public interest, says Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye (pic).

The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (Niosh) chairman said the authorities must be very stringent in monitoring and enforcing laws and regulations under the Factories and Machinery Act 1967 and the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994.

“Fatal accidents involving cranes at construction sites must not be taken lightly.

“Stern action must be taken against incompetent crane operators as safety aspects at construction sites must never be compromised,” he said in a statement.

Lee said based on these laws, the main contractor, as the employer, was responsible in ensuring the safe use of tower cranes at construction sites.

“Periodical maintenance on all machinery must be carried out by all contractors. The authorities must also ensure that only certified crane operators are employed,” he said.

Since 1999, Niosh has been responsible for issuing certificates to competent crane handlers after they are assessed by the Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH).

To date, Niosh has issued 6,640 certificates to crane handlers.

DOSH said tower crane operators who fail to comply with strict safety regulations are subject to a RM200,000 fine, a jail term of up to five years, or both.

Its deputy director-general (occupational safety and health) Omar Mat Piah said it was the responsibility of project managers to ensure tower cranes had fully complied with all regulations.

“They must get the necessary design approval and adhere to the terms of approval set by us.

“These are among the long-term measures to reduce crane-related accidents,” he said.

Transport Safety , niosh , safety , crane