Following a series of deaths in Malaysia, after mishaps and accidents on construction sites, the Malaysian government has now taken over the responsibility of monitoring the safety on sites, away from developers.
Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof said these duties will be entrusted to third-party organisations. They will be given autonomy in the planning, execution and supervision of workplace safety at construction sites.
As until yet, the monitoring on sites was done by contractors hired by project developer, the activity was not independent in itself. Speaking at the launch of Sustainable Construction Excellence Centre (Mampan), the Minister said the idea of independent monitoring was brought up by the experts at the centre.
Mampan is headed by the Construction Research Institute of Malaysia (Cream), a subsidiary of the Government’s Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB). The proposal to appoint third party safety monitors would be implemented first in Government construction projects.
Fadillah Yusof hopes that the private sector construction industry will follow the same. Currently, the Department of Occupational and Safety Hazard (DOSH) monitors government projects but it is reportedly too understaffed to keep track of every project.
“For now we will have to make do with existing laws. This is why we need a commitment from the industry players.” He added that Mampan would be a key organisation under the Government’s environmental sustainability initiative for its Construction Industry Transformation Programme.
The centre will undertake research with Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Universiti Sains Malaysia and the Rehda Institute to instil better industry practices, certification and awareness in the construction industry.
On signing, the Memorandum of Understanding between Cream chairman Tan Sri Dr Ahmad Tajuddin Ali and academics from all the four universities and research institutes, will be a part of the new centre. Fadillah told The Star, “Our short-term goal is to position Malaysia as a regional leader in sustainability in construction and to raise the perception of sustainability in construction here. We don’t want to build bridges that have no resilience and collapse when there is a flood.”