Bandar Seri Begawan - Last year, the construction industry recorded a total of four fatalities and 43 individuals sustaining serious injuries while 60 per cent of injuries are work-related in high altitude.
In light of worrying cases of fatality and injuries within the construction industry the Ministry of Development launched the Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) Manual yesterday at the Dewan Indera Pahlawan with the primary aim at preventing and minimising risks to health, safety and well being of employees and contractors, sub-contractors and members of the public.
Taking a no compromise stand on issues of safety the Minister of Development Pehin Orang Kaya Indera Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Suyoi bin Haji Osman who officially launched the manual said, "The HSE manual launched today clearly states the safety standard that needs to be complied."
During submission of tenders, the minister said the contractors are required to state their ability in complying with the safety's conditions, possesses PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) staff and equipments that will fulfill all aspects that are stated in the manual. Since last year, in the preparation of the manual, owners of companies need to attend an HS E management course for two days in order to understand what is needed from them.
"We will continue to offer such courses as guidance for contractors to understand the manual," he said.
The minister also raised the importance of personally being on site in order to know what is going on at the construction site.
"As the project supervisor, it is important to know what is going on at the work site. We must go and see ourselves to make sure that any matters related to HSE are being adhered to.
"Being involved in discussion with the employees and inspecting the equipment that are correct for the safety of work. We must be strict and should not compromise with any questions on worker and workplace safety" he said.
The minister also reiterated that he hopes to see the commitment from all parties in making use of the manual as the bases of reference.
"With strong continued commitment from the senior management, we can achieve significant success in a short period," he said.
Pehin Orang Kaya Indera Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Suyoi also said the management needs to make sure that the requirements stated in the manual are correctly implemented.
"Supervisor of projects needs to make sure that all workers understand and comply with every requirements and report any danger, injuries and disease in the workplace," he said.
During the launch of the Health, Safety and Environment Manual, the- minister also officiated the launch of coveralls for Public Works. Department as a symbol of commitment in safeguarding and protecting the ministry's staff and officers from the danger of chemical and other dangerous materials.
The minister would like to see the ministry's staff wearing the coveralls in the work place.
The new manual together with specially trained HSE personnel and the application of the new Workplace Safety and Health Order 2009 are aimed at reducing the amount of accidents happening at project sites carried out by the ministry
The manual includes standard of common work activities such as work height, excavation, confined space entry driving and chemical handling as well as other safety procedures.
Contractors and consultants will be required to comply with the requirements of the HSE manual in all projects. HSE capabilities of contractors will be evaluated prior to contract award.
After the launch, a copy of the manual was presented to all heads of departments under the Ministry of Development in a show of commitment in implementing HSE for all projects under Ministry of Development.
The highly distinctive design of the coveralls will be instantly recognisable to all staff Coveralls provide protection for the body from abrasions and dust as well as promote a sense of teamwork and authority.
Also present at the ceremony were permanent secretaries, Director-General of Public Works Department, heads of department and other officers of the ministry.--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin