Construction site flouters get 14 days to comply with SOP

KUALA LUMPUR: The management of construction sites that have been given warning for failure to comply with the standard operating procedure (SOP) to curb the spread of Covid-19 have 14 days to abide by the guidelines, says Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof.

He said the sites inspected by the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) as well as the local authorities were usually given a warning for minor offences and failure to comply with the SOP.

“Usually, they are given about 14 days, depending on the type of failures, to comply with the SOP and further inspections are conducted as well.

“Once the SOP has been complied with, they are given the green light to operate, ” he said after visiting a centralised labour quarters in one of the construction project sites in Bangsar South here yesterday.

Also present were Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan and Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Nor Hisham Ahmad Dahlan.

Fadillah said from April 20, some 9,235 construction sites were inspected nationwide and from that, some 3,282 sites were in operation.

“About 84% from the 3,282 sites inspected have complied with the SOP and only 1% or 19 sites did not comply with the guidelines and were ordered to close.

“The remaining 15% or 501 sites were given warnings, ” he added.

Fadillah said some construction sites were ordered to close after the Health Ministry found Covid-19 positive cases.

They were allowed to reopen once the quarantine period ended and all workers were given a clean bill of health.

Saravanan said the government would not hesitate to take action against employers who failed to comply with the guidelines in the Minimum Standards of Housing and Amenities (Amendment) Act.

The Act, which was passed in Parliament last year, came into effect on June 1 in Peninsular Malaysia and Labuan.

However, the government has given a three-month grace period until Aug 31 to give room for employers to make the necessary arrangements.

Asked if there would be any incentives given to employers who might find it difficult to comply with the amendments due to the economic downturn and Covid-19, Saravanan answered no.

“That is not a valid excuse because the amendments were passed last year and that was before Covid-19, ” he said, adding that enforcement would begin from Sept 1.

Failure to comply could see employers being fined up to RM50,000.

The amendments, which were passed in the Dewan Rakyat on July 15 and Dewan Negara on July 31, were gazetted on Sept 18.

Prior to this, the Act only covered accommodation and housing for workers in plantations that were more than 20 acres and in the mining sector.

With the amendments, the criteria have been extended to all sectors that provide accommodation and housing to foreign workers.

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