Work halted at collapse construction site in KB

National 2 minutes, 21 seconds

BELAIT

NO SAFETY violations have so far been found at the site of Wednesday evening's construction mishap in Mumong which injured nine foreign workers, however, work has been temporarily suspended due to ongoing investigations.

"So far, there is no violation. They have been working at night but they are only doing tidying up. We just advise them to ensure that lighting is sufficient," said Minister of Development Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Indera Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Hj Suyoi Hj Osman.

“All work here has been halted until we know the cause (of the incident) and we ensure that safety measures are taken so that there is no repeat of the incident. Operations are temporarily halted to ensure that the working environment is safe to resume work.”

The minister was speaking to the media after a site inspection led by the Department of Labour's Workplace, Safety and Health Division and joined by the Public Works Department's (JKR) Health, Safety, Security and Environment Division, the Department of Economic Planning and Development (JPKE), as well as officials from the Ministries of Education and Health.

YB Pehin Dato Hj Suyoi clarified that overtime work as observed at the site was permissible: “If necessary, and with certain safety measures in place, this is allowed. Within these conditions, there are possibilities to extend working hours beyond 5pm.”

The minister also confirmed reports of the death of an Indonesian worker at the same site two weeks ago, saying that official records reported the worker had slipped from a safety harness and fell to his death and that safety measures had to be tightened.

“At the same time, each worker has to take care of their own personal safety and not take risks in performing their work,” he said.

Hazmin Hatta Hamzah, head of Workplace, Safety and Health under the Department of Labour, told the media that concrete statements on the causes would only be determined after ongoing investigations concluded.

"We will work together with the relevant government agencies, mainly with the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Development for investigation and in future we will come up with mitigation or solution on what the next step would be," said Hazmin.

In light of the second incident in a month at the site, Hazmin also said that the main contractor would be providing its official safety management system documentation, while hazard and risk assessments would be conducted.

“This site, we will ask them not to work here first. We deem it very dangerous now. No one is able to work at this site.”

A statement from the Department of Labour said that it would issue an immediate “Stop Work Order” to “principal contractor for the construction of Maktab Sains Kuala Belait until it is deemed to be safe and without risk to everyone and its surroundings”.

The Brunei Times