GEORGE TOWN: The main contractor of the Bukit Kukus paired roads project were fined a total of RM22,000 after they changed their plea to guilty at the Sessions Court here.
The contractors pleaded guilty to two charges: one for failing to ensure safety work procedure for lifting activities when using a crane, and the other for failing to appoint a competent safety and health officer at the project site.
Under the first charge, Yuta Maju Sdn Bhd is accused of failing to prepare a safety work procedure for lifting activities using a crane, which resulted in falling beams on Oct 11,2018.
The company was charged under Section 15(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act 1994 and can be penalised under Section 19 of the same Act.
For the second charge, the construction company is accused of failing to appoint a competent safety and health officer at the project site, an offence under Section 29(2) of the OSH Act 1994 which can be penalised under Section 29(5) of the same Act.
The company's director Osmera Mamat listened to both the charges before pleading guilty, overturning the plea he made last year when the company was first charged with the offence.
Counsel S. Kanesh represented the company, while prosecution officer from the Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) Mohd Najib Anuar prosecuted the case.
The case was heard before Judge Mazdi Abdul Hamid.
In mitigation, Kanesh told the court this was the first time such an incident was recorded under the company's name and the incident did not result in any casualties.
"The incident occurred due to strong winds at the time of the incident.
"A supervisor was also at the site. I request the court to impose a lower fine," he said.
Najib, however, asked the court for a fair punishment to serve as a lesson to the company and other employers to avoid similar incident.
He said the company should have ensured safety while analysing the risks before undertaking such work.
"The company should have also ensured the safety and health of the worksite," he said.
Mazdi imposed RM20,000 fine and said if they failed to pay, they would face two months in jail for the first charge.
For the second charge, the company was fined RM2,000 and failure to pay would result in two weeks' jail.
It was reported that Penang Island City Council (MBPP) appointed Yuta Maju as the main contractor for the RM545.6mil highway project.
On Oct 11,2018, a crane was lifting items at the project site when it swayed and hit a beam, which then fell.
A major landslide followed over a week later on Oct 19, which claimed the lives of nine foreign workers and injuring four others.
A stop-work order was initially issued for the project by MBPP and DOSH while investigations were carried out by various parties including the state government.
We're sorry, this article is unavailable at the moment. If you wish to read this article, kindly contact our Customer Service team at 1-300-88-7827. Thank you for your patience - we're bringing you a new and improved experience soon!