PETALING JAYA: A collective move by the Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) with stakeholders in the construction sector has resulted in a more comprehensive approach in ensuring safety in hazardous work environments.
The Occupational Safety and Health in Construction Industry (Management) (OSHCIM) initiative that started in 2017 provided a practical guide to clients, designers and contractors on the management of safety, health and welfare when carrying out construction projects.
DOSH Construction Safety Division director Nazruddin Mat Ali said death rates involving workers in the construction sector in 2017 were high at 14.57 for every 100,000 workers.
He said since the implementation of OSHCIM in the same year, the death rates in 2019 had reduced to 11.28.
“Various parties are now involved in the safety, health and welfare aspects within a project, and no longer depend solely on the contractors like before.
“For example, designers need to understand that they have to design structures or plans that fit the safety aspects of a project such as ensuring air conditioner compressors are located at spots which are safe for installation and maintenance.
“With the collective effort, construction projects are made safer for both workers and the public,” he said, adding that DOSH also encouraged safety officers to send online daily and monthly reports related to safety and health issues at their sites.
Nazruddin said occupational accidents at construction sites were often related to falls, involving workers or physical structures that fail to comply with safety standards.
He also encouraged the public to report to firstname.lastname@example.org for any complaints regarding safety measures at construction sites.
The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (Niosh) consultation and research & development department general manager Khairunnizam Mustapa said they were conducting six research studies related to the construction sector.
“In terms of training, we offer three types – for trainers, site safety supervisors, and safety and health officers with the cooperation of CIDB Holdings,” he said.
Mohd Fathuldin Shamel Mohd Din, a health, safety and environment officer, said ensuring the safety of workers and the public was no easy task.
“For activities that involve machinery movement, we need to control traffic and install proper signage to prevent any accidents from occurring.
“For large equipment that needs to temporarily be left outside the construction site, we will ensure that the area is safe for drivers by placing signage, safety barriers and blinking lights,” he said.
Fathuldin noted that for lifting works that posed a danger to road users, traffic would need to be stopped temporarily.
“However, there will still be those, such as motorists, who refuse to follow instructions and pose a threat to themselves and others by continuing to cross the area,” he said.
He added that safety inspectors would usually conduct two visits a year depending on the construction activity at the site.
“They will ensure that our activities abide by the Self-Regulation and Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994 and Factories and Machinery Act 1967 in terms of site condition, safety documents, machinery and other safety and health factors,” he said.
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