Incompetent crane handlers cause of accident at construction sites

KUALA LUMPUR: Incompetence from the part of crane handlers has been indentified among factors seen as contributing to the frequent occurrence of accidents at construction sites.

A senior lecturer in Building Technology, School of Housing, Building and Planning, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Dr Mohd Zailan Sulieman said there are crane handlers who did not attend the Health and Safety Induction Course which is required for construction workers as stipulated by the authorities.

"This issue is often discussed at seminars and forums because many of the findings of the investigations pertaining to accidents at construction sites involving cranes showed they were due to negligence by incompetent handlers," he said when contacted by Bernama here.

Mohd Zailan said it is a requirement for workers entering construction sites to attend the course as stated in a circular issued by the Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH).

He said the workers are required to attend the Induction Training Course and the Malaysian Construction Industry Development Board's (CIDB) Green Card Programme which required all major contractors to implement the Green Card System at construction sites.

He said the cranes should also be maintained and tested from time to time by competent individuals before they are to be used at construction sites.

"Apart from that, crane handlers who are not well should not be allowed to handle the crane and for those working, they should not work more than four hours without a rest," he added.

Meanwhile, National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (Niosh) chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said accidents involving cranes at construction sites could possibly be due to contractors hiring local or foreign workers illegally.

He said some foreign workers may have the relevant certificate or documents issued by their respective countries for them to carry out the job, but the level of training and their capability may not be suitable to the types of machine and weather in Malaysia.

Lee suggested the authorities to ensure contractors only hire accredited crane handlers, while officers on duty at construction sites to check and ensure the cranes are safe for use.

On Aug 25 this year, a woman was killed when a crane hook at a construction site fell on her car as she was driving along Jalan Raja Chulan, Bukit Bintang, here and last Oct 17, a Bernama staff had a narrow miss when a steel pipe fell from a crane at a construction site beside Wisma Bernama on his car as he was leaving the office compound.

Last Nov 5, a married couple was killed when a piling machine collapsed on their car, crushing it as they were passing a construction site at Bandar Baru Bukit Raja, Klang, Selangor.

On Nov 30, a pedestrian bridge under construction near the Abdullah Hukum Apartment in Jalan Bangsar collapsed, killed one and injuring five others and in the latest incident, a crane collapsed at a construction site in front of the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) building at Damansara Perdana.

However, no casualty was reported in the incident. — Bernama