Just last week there was the news that the mezzanine floor of a hypermarket in Alor Gajah collapsed, resulting in deaths and injuries. Now, we have been presented with further shocking news that 92.5% of construction sites in the country do not meet specifications set by the Department of Safety and Health.
Should Malaysia just stop constructing buildings? This might be the only way to ensure that neither construction workers nor building inhabitants die or get injured as a result of irresponsible contractors doing all they can to cut costs, even if it means not complying with the specifications set by the Department of Safety and Health in terms of time taken to complete a project, materials used and safety of the work area. After all, it does not seem like we can trust the ministry to be on top of the hazardous construction sites issue considering numerous construction site accidents had to happen first before they decided to take this issue seriously. What’s more, even after a construction site has been found to be specification non-compliant, not all contractors are taken to court – most are given notices and compounds. Does a petty compound weigh the same as a life or more? Definitely not, but that seems to be the extent of the enforcement against errant contractors. Hence, until contractors are held accountable for their actions and responsible for their construction sites and workers’ lives, perhaps the construction industry should just shut down.
Press release, 1 July 2015