DOSH to conduct detailed probe into Penang warehouse collapse

GEORGE TOWN: The construction company in the logistics warehouse construction project incident in Batu Maung, Bayan Lepas near here, which collapsed on Tuesday night was ordered to appoint an independent investigator to identify the cause of the incident and assess the quality of the construction structure at the site.

Penang Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) director, Hairozie Asri said his department is currently conducting a follow-up investigation at the accident site which was also attended by a team from the Forensic Engineering Division of DOSH Malaysia.

ALSO READ: Penang warehouse collapse: Four 'victims' thought missing in mishap nabbed

He said an immediate stop work notice on all works at the warehouse construction site had been issued and an investigation to identify the cause of the incident was also held.

"The investigation being carried out is aimed at Section 15 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994 which is related to the employer's responsibility towards the safety and health of its employees during work activities.

"Following the death of three Bangladeshi workers in the incident, the employer will also face legal action if it is found that there is a violation under the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994 against the responsible parties," he said in a statement today.

Hairozie said Penang DOSH will only cancel the notice issued when all the evidence at the scene has been obtained and it is satisfied with the repair and control measures that will be taken to prevent such accidents from happening again in the future.

He said it is the employer's responsibility under Section 15(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994 to ensure safety and health at the workplace including at construction sites.

"Employers who have full control over any activity at the workplace, need to do a risk analysis and have effective risk control before any work activity is carried out.

"This is to eliminate or reduce safety risks for workers and the public and to prevent accidents during work activities," he said.

According to him, Penang DOSH takes seriously every occupational accident and disease caused by work activities in all sectors including the construction sector and the department is always committed to improving the level of occupational safety and health (OSH) in this country including in the construction sector.

In the incident at 9.58pm, three Bangladeshi construction workers were confirmed dead after the logistics warehouse under construction collapsed while two other victims were reported to be in serious condition and were taken to Penang Hospital for treatment.

Before the incident, 18 foreign workers were working but nine of them went out to pray. However, the four workers who were said to be buried were actually alive after they fled in fear. - Bernama

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