KOTA KINABALU: The construction industry in Malaysia is recording 1.2 fatalities every two days.
And the rate seems to be increasing instead of going down, said Master Builders Association Malaysia (MBAM) president Foo Chek Lee.
“According to statistics, the rate of fatalities in the construction industry per 100,000 workers has been increasing at an alarming rate. In 2014, the fatality rate was 7.26 per 100,000 workers. In 2015, it went up 10.74, in 2016 it went further up to 12.78 and in 2017 it shot up to 14.94 per 100,000 workers,” he said.
He added that out of the 650 fatalities in all industries, a total of 187 were from the construction sector, signifying that within a year, and excluding Sunday as a day off, the construction industry records 1.2 fatalities every two days.
“From this statistics, it is clear that the construction industry has the highest fatality rate as compared to all other industries. Thus it is time for us as construction industry players to buck up and take safety and health seriously and place them on high priority in the project implementation. It is important to include safety and health planning as part of project implementation schedule planning,” he said.
He added that one of the main contributors of the high construction accidents is due to working at height.
Accidents due to working at height may be the result from workers working at a high place without proper safety protection, being hit by falling objects, accidents due to lifting using mobile or tower cranes, scaffolding failures and elevated working platform failures, he said.
To address the issues, MBAM has produced guide books on safe practice on scaffolding, safe use of cranes and recently, the first guide book for Malaysia’s safe use of mobile elevated working platforms, he said.
“This includes Boom Lifts, Sky Lifts, Scissor Lifts and so on.”
Foo said MBAM was also working with the government to implement a set of rules and guidelines to ensure the safety and quality of ongoing construction projects.
Also present were MBAM council member Michael Yap, Sabah Builders Association president Lou Chi Nam, Dosh Sabah director Zulkifli Yahaya and CIDB Malaysia general manager (Safety, Health, and Environment Division) M. Ramuseren.