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Safety in Building Construction and Construction Site

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There are two (2) acts in Malaysia that govern the building construction activities, that is The Factories and Machinery Act 1967 and The Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994. However, the Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) which is under the Ministry of Human Resources is the lead authority in the enforcement of such law. The law that DOSH enforces cover building operations and works of engineering construction. After works have commenced, a notice of commencement in the form of a JKJ form that can be obtained from DOSH regional offices has to be submitted to the official inspector not later than seven (7) days from the commencement of works. For the usage of such certificated machinery for example tower cranes, material or passenger hoist, pressure vessel or steam boiler has to be first applied for through the submission of the JKJ 105 form. Without the certificate of fitness issued either by DOSH or the Factories and Machinery Act 1967, works cannot proceed. Furthermore, these machineries must also be installed, erected, maintained and dismantled by competent people and a registered crane operator with DOSH also has to be employed.

In cases where a concrete batching plant is required, then form JKJ 105 has to be submitted. These permissions have to be submitted and approved first before such plants can be used. Temporary structures such as ramp, wastes disposal chutes and formworks have to be designed and endorsed by a professional engineer beforehand. The main contractor or his representative has to ensure that such document can be available upon request by the inspector. If the is forty (40) or more workers employed, then a committee for safety and health has to be formed at the construction site. The safety and health committee has to be chaired by the project management and the health officer as secretary. The Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1996 provides that an equal number of appointee from management and employees.

Any building operation or engineering works that the contract price is more than RM 20 million requires a registered safety and health officer employed. A written safety and health policy with respect to safety and health at works of employees shall be prepared, approved and endorsed by the top management . This is applicable where more than five (5) workers are employed. This is implied for all employers either contractors or sub-contractors. The main contractor shall appoint a part-time safety site supervisor who shall spend at least fifteen (15) hour per week and also any contractor who employs more than twenty (20) people to carry out work on work sites shall employ a part-time contractor’s safety supervisor who spends at least five (5) hours per week promoting safe conduct of work. If there should occur any accidents that can prevent the employee from working more than four (4) days than it should be notified to the DOSH’s regional office. However all industrial poisoning or occupational diseases have to be informed to the employer and DOSH. DOSH hopes that all parties in the construction industry can corporate well among each other and can exercise safe performance. This can be achieved by close collaboration of top management and employees.

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