Could the foreign worker have been spared from being buried alive?

It was reported on 21 July that a foreign worker was buried alive at a construction site in Kota Damansara and passed away as he was being rushed to the hospital. Preliminary investigation showed that the walls caved in as he was assembling an underground waste disposal pipe.

The Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) is outraged by this news as this is certainly not the first time an accident has happened while work is being done in an underground, or in a hole, or in a trench set-up at a construction site.

A similar worksite accident case involving installation of sewerage pipes had happened In March of this year at a construction site in Temerloh. Two foreign workers were buried by huge piles of soil that had been collected on the edge of the pits.

It is distressing to know that another life has been lost and that we as a society seem to have become completely desensitised to these tragedies, as they keep happening, to the point where we may be losing our humanity.  

CAP would like to know if there is an SOP that must be adhered to when construction workers assemble or install sewerage pipes at construction sites and if that SOP was adhered in this recent accident.

Now that we are in the Recovery stage of the Movement Control Order (RMCO) many construction sites have resumed their normal operations. It is vital that there be strict SOPs and that these SOPs are followed so that the safety of the foreign workers at construction sites can be ensured. Employers who do not take adequate safety measures and breach the SOP must be punished severely, including imprisonment.