THE repeated incidents at the construction site of Sg Besi, Ulu Klang Elevated Expressway (SUKE), which have resulted in a number of fatalities, call for grave concern and the strict implementation of the Construction Site Safety Operation Procedure and Construction Activities Risk Assessment – HIRARC, to prevent the hazard from reoccurring.

The public were shocked and horrified when parts from a gantry crane fell, killing three construction workers at SUKE, near Puncak Banyan, Persiaran Alam Damai on March 22.

This was not the first incident at the construction site. Previous incidents include the collapse of an overhead bridge structure, killing two in March, a parapet wall at the construction site crashed and hit a car travelling underneath the bridge on September 2020, and a pilling steel frame fell and injured three workers in August last year.

It is of utmost importance that workers and any other persons at construction sites are protected from hazards. There are risks at these sites, not only for the workers but also for the public who move around the sites or live adjacent to them. The public must be protected from hazards associated with construction in these areas.

However, it important to emphasise that government agencies including Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB), Board of Engineers, Malaysia (BEM), Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) and other agencies have regulations that lay down the legal requirements to ensure the safety and health of not only the workers but also the public as well.

Some of the established and published guidelines and procedures on safety requirements during construction works include BEM Guideline No. 001 – “The Role and Responsibility of Professional Engineers for Temporary Works during Construction Stage” and CIDB’s Construction Industry Standard (CIS) “CIS25 : 2018 Construction Activities Risk Assessment Hazard Identification, Risk Assessment and Risk Control (CARA-HIRARC)” and “CIS 15:2019 Guideline on prevention of fall at construction site”.

These guidelines and standard procedures are published as a guide to stakeholders to adopt and implement risk management and best safety practices during the construction. The role and responsibilities of the stakeholders, including the project owner, contractor, consultants and engineers are clearly defined in these guidelines.

The repeated incidents at the same construction site show a lack of implementation of risk management to identify fall hazards and control measures to prevent risks.

DOSH, CIDB and other government regulating bodies should take necessary measures to ensure all occupational safety and health regulations and guidelines are strictly implemented at construction sites.

Ts Ir Wong Chee Fui is a consultant at Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman.
He is registered with the Board of Engineers Malaysia and Malaysia Board
of Technologist.