Nip ‘alarming trend’ of mishaps at mega project sites: IEM

Engineers’ statutory body urges immediate board of inquiry, probes into safety aspects of ongoing developments

KUALA LUMPUR : The Institution of Engineers Malaysia (IEM) has expressed concern at the spate of accidents involving construction or engineering works related to national mega projects, saying the “alarming trend” must be immediately addressed by all means.

It pointed to the most recent incident, involving the collapse of scaffolding at the LRT Shah Alam worksite, which was formerly known as LRT3, in Klang yesterday. The incident saw one worker killed and four others sustaining injuries.

“IEM extends our condolences to the family of the worker who lost his life, and we pray for the speedy recovery of the workers who were injured,” said its president Ong Ching Loon.

“The number of mishaps occurring recently have raised public safety concerns and doubts on due diligence being carried out to prevent such incidents,” he added in a statement.

“With relevant acts, laws, regulations, standards, and various national guidelines governing construction activities in place, such accidents should not have happened if all parties involved had complied with the requirements.

Ong said the project owner must ensure that qualified engineers, competent safety personnel, an adequate number of supervisors, and trained workers are appointed. The scope of work must include the practicality of the temporary work design based on actual site conditions.

He said a thorough investigation must be conducted, and the root cause of the accident must be identified.

Nip ‘alarming trend’ of mishaps at mega project sites: IEM
The Institution of Engineers Malaysia says recent accidents at construction sites should not be occurring at all with mitigation measures already in place, and is calling for a third-party board on inquiry to assess compliance to industry occupational safety and health guidelines. – Pixabay pic

IEM is willing to offer its technical assistance and opinion in the investigation, he added.

“The inquiry to be conducted on the accident must involve a third-party board comprising related experts in the construction industry,” he said.

“The construction (project’s) stakeholders, including the project owner, contractor and consultant, must be transparent and should fully cooperate with the board of inquiry. 

All recent accidents must be reviewed to ensure proper mitigation plans have been taken, he added.

“We urge all parties including those involved with the accident rescue activity to take precautionary measures at the site, as it still has insecure structures, to prevent further injury.

“Safety is the responsibility of all, and the necessary search-and-rescue work should be left to relevant authorities such as the bomba (Fire and Rescue Department).”

Following the incident, project owner Prasarana Malaysia Bhd had said that it has instructed its contractor to carry out a thorough investigation.

Earlier, a video of the incident was shared on social media, showing a small portion of the rail construction site collapsed, prompting public concern.

The fire department confirmed that the individual who died was a Bangladeshi citizen and that three other compatriots were among those injured. The fourth person injured was confirmed as being an Indonesian citizen.

On June 19, a concrete slab collapsed along the Damansara-Shah Alam Elevated Highway, resulting in two workers getting injured. 

On March 22, three people died and another three were injured when part of a tower crane collapsed at a highway construction site at the Sg Besi-Ulu Klang Elevated Expressway near Puncak Banyan, Persiaran Alam Damai in Cheras. Three of the victims were construction workers.


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