GEORGE TOWN (March 6): Fourteen construction sites in Penang were sealed owing to safety violations over the past fortnight, the Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) revealed, The Star reported today.
Penang DOSH director Jaafar Leman said that this was the result of surprise checks on 29 construction sites in the state since Feb 24.
He was speaking to the media during an inspection of a construction site near to The Light project off the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Highway.
Jaafar also explained that the “closures were only for the portion that did not meet safety regulations, and not for the whole” project sites, reported the English news portal.
The contractors of the sites must therefore “submit proposals on rectification to comply with the safety regulations before they lift the seals”.
The same report stated that DOSH carried out its “Cegah Runtuh Cegah Jatuh” operations on Feb 24 and zeroed in on 50 construction sites.
“We will conduct surprise spot checks at these sites until March 24 and any site found to have safety violations will be issued notices or sealed,” Jaafar said.
He added that DOSH “had issued 78 warning notices to work sites with potential for safety violations and 55 other notices to contractors that had committed safety violations”.
Last week, DOSH announced that Amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Act 1994 are expected to be tabled in Parliament this month to make construction site owners and architects responsible for incidents at their sites.
DOSH director-general, Ir Omar Mat Piah said currently, only contractors were held responsible for the construction site even though they had to complete the work within the stipulated time.
“When it is tabled and passed this month, severe fines will be imposed on the three responsible parties, namely the employer, the architect and the contractor in the event of an accident at the workplace,” he said.