Steel company fined for negligence that led to contractor's death

  • Nation
  • Friday, 02 Aug 2019

IPOH: Lysaght Galvanized Steel Sdn Bhd was fined RM35, 000 by a Sessions Court here yesterday after it pleaded guilty to negligence that caused the death of a contractor in April this year.

Chief executive officer Chua Tia Bon, 69, represented the company that was charged under Section 17 (1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994. which carries a fine of not more than RM50, 000, a jail term of not more than two years, or both, under Section 19 of the Act.

Judge Norashima Khalid fined the company in default eight months’ jail.

Chua admitted to committing the offence at the factory in Tasek Industrial Estate near here at about 10am on April 22.

The charge sheet stated that the company failed to ensure the safety, health and welfare at the workplace, which resulted in the death of Cheong Kim Loong, 54, a contractor hired to check, repair and replace the roof.

According to the facts of the case, Cheong fell off the roof onto a conveyor roller after the vinyl roof he stepped on gave way while he was repairing the roof at the production plant.

Investigations carried out by the Occupational Safety and Health Department (DOSH) found that the accident occurred due to failure in securing the work site.

DOSH prosecuting officer Fazira Azita Abdul Rashid said the company, that has been in existence for 40 years, should have had proper safety procedures in place.

"I hope the court will impose an appropriate sentence, as this will not only serve as a lesson to the company, but other companies as well.

"If there had been proper safety measures in place, the incident could have been prevented, ” she added.

During mitigation, Chua, who was unrepresented, said he was sad with what had happened, and that the company had taken the necessary steps to improve its safety system.

"This is the first time an accident had occurred at the factory, and we have done all that has been required by DOSH to ensure such an incident does not recur, ” he said as he requested for a lighter sentence.

Chua later paid the fine.

In the same court, representatives from three different companies pleaded guilty separately to negligently causing injuries to their workers.

Representing the companies were S. Chanthravarnam, the senior manager of United Plantations Bhd's UIE Estates, Yip Swee Kuen, the operations director of Imperial Garments Sdn Bhd, and Liew Kok Weng, the director for Sirijaya Industries Sdn Bhd.

The three representatives were charged under Section 15 (1) of the Act.

United Plantations was fined RM15, 000 in default six months' jail for failure to ensure the safety of a worker who severed his middle finger when it was crushed between a safety barricade and trailer. The incident took place on Feb 21 at its plantation at Pantai Remis, Perak.

Imperial Garments was charged for negligence that led to its worker sustaining second degree burns on his left hand while repairing a machine at a factory located at the Tasek Industrial Estate on Nov 26 last year. It was fined RM15, 000 in default six months' jail.

Sirijaya Industries, a company involved in steel works, was charged when a worker severed two fingers on his right hand when it got caught on the spinning chain of a machine at a factory at the IGB International Industrial Park in Chemor on Feb 8. It was fined RM17, 000 in default six months' jail.

DOSH prosecuting officer Rashidah Hamdan said if the plantation company had followed the proper operating procedures, the incident could have been prevented.

"I hope the court will impose a heavy sentence to ensure employers, especially those in the plantation sectors using heavy machinery will be more alert and careful in the future, ” she added.

Mudzaffar Anwar Hussin, who prosecuted Imperial Garments and Sirijaya Industries, said both companies had failed to ensure the safety of its machinery. All three companies paid their fines.

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