The time has come for the government to seriously consider setting up a special committee to carry out a detailed and proper investigation to closely examine the safety level at all construction sites across the country.
This comes after a concrete structure under construction located close to the Gombak LRT station collapsed suddenly on Thursday morning.
Two were reported to have been killed in the incident while three others suffered injuries.
Accidents at construction sites not something new in our country.
Almost every year, such tragedies are reported costing many lives and seriously injuring the construction workers.
Accidents at construction sites should not happen as our country is equipped with numerous laws, regulations and standard operating procedures (SOPs) to ensure safety at the workplace including construction sites.
As accidents at construction sites still do occur which clearly indicates something is not right with our existing system.
As such, the government should take prompt action and set up a special committee to investigate in depth such matters. This is crucial to ensure the existing safety components at all construction sites in the country are really in line with all the existing laws, regulations, and standard operating procedures.
The setting up a special committee will also allow the relevant agencies to examine any loopholes in the existing system thus allowing us to find possible solutions to deal with the ongoing problems.
The proposed special committee can include members from any relevant agencies like the Ministry of Human Resources (MoHR), Ministry of Works, Department of Safety and Health (DoSH), National Institute for Safety and Health (NIOSH), local government agencies, as well as the local municipality.
Employers in particular play a very important role in ensuring safety level at the workplace are adequate. They must ensure their employees work in a safe and healthy environment.
Apart from that, employers must prepared a safety and health policy at their workplace and make sure their employees read, understand, and practice all the policies stated.
They must also ensure the welfare of their employees by providing them with proper safety tools and equipment.
At the same time, employees must fully cooperation with the employer to ensure a conducive working environment which is free from accidents.
It is the duty of both the employer and employee to ensure the safety procedures at the workplace is being followed and respected at all times.
Stern legal action should also be taken against either employer or employee who neglect the safety procedures under the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994 (OSHA) [Act 514].
It is also very crucial for relevant enforcement agencies to carry out constant safety inspections at all construction sites all over the country to ensure the safety procedures are being strictly adhered.
The issue concerning safety should always be given top priority and safety should never be compromised.
**Dr Muzaffar Syah Mallow is Senior Lecturer at Faculty of Syariah & Law, Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM)
*The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the position of Astro AWANI.