Wednesday, January 17, 2007
2 Workers Dead & 10 seriously injured in Industrial Accident at Work Place
Recently on 10/1/2006, it was reported that one Malaysian & one Burmese worker were killed, and 12 other Indian Migrant Workers were seriously injurded when a scaffolding at the construction site(their workplace) collapsed. They were hit by the slabs, which fell from the seventh level. Twelve slabs, each weighing about 50 kgs, were said to have fallen from a platform on the scaffolding.
The dead are 52-year-old Malaysian Liew Wan Chew and Myanmar national Boi Nei Tang, 35. The injured have been identified as Balraj Singh, 21, Pretap Singh and Arjan Singh both 22, Aman Singh, 23, Kala Singh and Gurbachan Singh, both 24, Salam Khan, 25, Subash Kumar, 26, Gurnam Singh, 30, Jamuna Prasad, 33, Rampal Singh, 37 and Kashmeer Singh, 40. Except for Salam who is from Bangladesh, the rest are from Punjab, India.
The police says that it is a case of sudden death ("Dang Wangi OCPD Asst Comm Mohammad Zulkarnain said the police have classified the case as sudden death" - a bit too fast for a conclusion, is it not - was there thorough investigation done before hand..and what does that "sudden death" mean) - BUT the question is whether any criminal action will be taken against the said employers and/or the developers.
The question is whether the Employers will be fined and/or required to pay any compensation to these workers. It was sad to note that the Minisiter, was seen to listen to the briefing of the by developer Pavilion Kuala Lumpur Sdn Bhd - strange that he did not seem to have gotten any briefing from any Occupational Health and Safety inspectors. A stop-work order was issued BUT for how long. Will there be an investigation into the incident, and will the said Developer and persons involved in the constructions be penalized.
The questions that arise:-
1) Have the Occupational Health and Safety Officers been doing visits to construction sites to ensure that working condirtions are safe for the workers on a regular basis? It is not enough only to come in when there is an industrial accident that receives the attention of the media. Looking at construction sites, and comparing it with some other countries like Hong Kong, it can be seen that the Malaysian worksites are not as safe as those. In Hong Kong, safety netting covers the whole of the building and there is very little (or no) risk of any brick falling and other things falling. It all looks so safe.
2) 2 died and 12 were injured but the Developer seem to be more concerned about completing the work done - which they said was only 6 weeks away from completion. Now, will the government do a thorough investigations and ensuring that all requirements to ensure safety is complied with is in place before revoking the stop-work order OR will the stop-work order be revoked in a few days time after the issue is no more a hot topic in the media. Has work already started.
3) What are the benefits that these migrant workers will get? Are they covered by SOCSO and/or Workman's Compensation Act? Was all the said Migrant Workers documented workers? If they were not, would they receive any compensation at all - for after all it was not too long ago that some undocumented Indonesian migrant workers were declared to be not entitled to receive their wages because they were undocumented. What about these 1 Migrant Worker and the 12 others who were injured - are they documented or not? And if they are documented with the relevant government department ensure that they get their due compensation as the law requires - or just keep quite and not make any payment out because these workers did not take the necessary steps to put in for their claims (After all Migrant Workers are not part of any Unions and many are ignorant about the law and/or how to make the necessary applications for compensation). Note some of the injured also may be not able to work anymore - and would the employer just terminate them - and not pay them for the months that could not work (or the remaining period of their work permit)? Many may just want to get back to their country - and the employer would get off scot-free, and the SOCSO and Workmen's Compensation also may just forget them.
4) Would the Company - its Directors and its shareholders be penalized and also charged for reckless killing of another (or murder or some other offence in the law) - or will they again get off scott-free. They must be penalized and also charged in court - and this will also serve as a warning so that other employers/developers would thereafter make sure that safety at the workplace is at its highest standards. Would the said Developer be "black-listed" - of course not just the company BUT also the Directors (if not that same group of Directors, CEO and COO etc will just go away and set up another company and escape the intention of the "black-listing").
5) Lifes were lost and persons were injured - but alas the coverage by the local media was dismal and in fact foreign media had more details about what happened and who got killed/injured.
6) Several years ago a Sudanese young man, who came to Malaysia to study, was killed by electrocution at the workplace (i.e. the Putrajaya Mosque) - and sadly this never received media attention - and in fact the incident was also not reported to the Labour Ministry. The boys family is yet to receive any monies from Workmen's Compensation. How many more migrant workers (documented or otherwise) have been similarly killed and/or injured at worksites - and have just not gotten reported, and even if the case was reported or was in the knowledge of the Ministry have not been given even the required workmen's compensation as required by law. Migrants are also human beings - and it must be the duty of the government, be it the Ministry or the police force, to ensure that they get whatsoever compensation as required by law and that the developers/employers be penalized for their negligence that caused the death of workers.
This case, like most other cases involving the ordinary man, will just be forgotten - BUT it is hoped that the Ministry and the police do the necessary to ensure that JUSTICE be done.
Selected reports from the local media, and also some foreign media about the incident is as follows. The source has been the internet version of these media - not the print media version.
Two dead, 10 injured when scaffolding collapses
Update by The Star newsdesk KUALA LUMPUR:
Two died and 10 others were injured when a scaffolding they were standing on collapsed at a construction site in Jalan Bukit Bintang around noon on Wednesday.
Four of those injured are in critical condition.
The two dead workers were a Malaysian and Myanmar. Dang Wangi OCPD Asst Comm Mohamad Zulkarnain bin Abdul Rahman, who was at the scene of the incident, said the two died when they construction material fell onto their heads after they landed on the ground.
The injured workers were sent to Kuala Lumpur Hospital.
The workers were standing on a platform on the metal scaffolding about 15m above the ground when it collapsed.
Eleven Indians injured in Malaysia
Press Trust of India Thursday, January 11, 2007 (Kuala Lumpur):
Two people were killed and 11 Indians injured, some of them seriously, when a scaffolding with several slabs of granite and construction materials plunged 15 metres to the ground in the Malaysian capital.
The accident took place at the construction site of a swank condominium-cum-botique hotel complex in downtown Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday.
One of the dead was a Malaysian national while the other was from Myanmar.
The Indians were all reported to be from Punjab who had come to Malaysia to work as construction site workers.
They were on the ground floor when the scaffolding crashed on them. Four of the injured were reported to be in a serious condition.
One of the injured workers, 22-year-old Rampal Singh whose arm got fractured was quoted by the New Straits Times as saying that he had managed to jump clear just before the slabs hit the ground.
"I am returning to India when I recover," Singh said. Seven of the injured are still at the hospital.
The two dead people were in a lift outside the second level of the building when they were hit by the slabs, which fell from the seventh level.
Twelve slabs, each weighing about 50 kgs, were said to have fallen from a platform on the scaffolding, the report said.
Work has been suspended at the Pavilion Kuala Lumpur project site by authorities. Human Resources minister Fong Chan Onn said he would not compromise on safety at construction sites.
The Kuala lumpur Department of Occupational Safety and Health director Omar Piah said 17 people died at construction sites in the city and at the administrative capital of Putrajaya last year.
The incidents happened at 10 construction sites, he was quoted by the media as saying. One of the accidents that hit media headlines here last year was the death of a management consultant who was killed when a 720 kg concrete mould fell on him from a 20th floor of a partly completed complex.
Star, Thursday January 11, 2007
Two die in scaffolding mishap, KUALA LUMPUR:
Two men were killed and 12 others injured when an upper-level scaffolding with several granite slabs collapsed and hit them. Police said the scaffolding could have collapsed from the weight of the slabs, each weighing about 50kg.
The tragedy occurred at 12.30pm yesterday at the 5ha construction site of the Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, a residential cum boutique hotel project, in Jalan Bukit Bintang here.
Dangling scaffolding: Workers and passers-by looking up at part of the collapsed scaffolding left in mid-air after the 12.30pm mishap which killed two workers.
The dead are 52-year-old Malaysian Liew Wan Chew and Myanmar national Boi Nei Tang, 35.
It is believed that the two were in a lift outside the second level of the building when were hit by the slabs, which fell 15m from the seventh level.
Twelve slabs, each weighing about 50kg, were said to have fallen from a platform on the scaffolding.
The falling slabs also injured 12 workers who were on the ground floor. Four of them are in serious condition. The injured have been identified as Balraj Singh, 21, Pretap Singh and Arjan Singh both 22, Aman Singh, 23, Kala Singh and Gurbachan Singh, both 24, Salam Khan, 25, Subash Kumar, 26, Gurnam Singh, 30, Jamuna Prasad, 33, Rampal Singh, 37 and Kashmeer Singh, 40. Except for Salam who is from Bangladesh, the rest are from Punjab, India.
At press time, Balraj Singh, Gurbachan Singh, Subash Kumar, Salam Khan, Arjan Singh, Rampal Singh and Kashmeer Singh were still warded in Kuala Lumpur Hospital.
Dang Wangi OCPD Asst Comm Mohammad Zulkarnain said the police have classified the case as sudden death. When met at the Kuala Lumpur Hospital mortuary, Lim's wife, who declined to be named, demanded action to be taken against those responsible.
Related Stories: Deaths the second fatal incident in five months
Star Thursday January 11, 2007
Deaths the second fatal incident in five months KUALA LUMPUR:
The death of two workers from falling granite slabs at the Pavilion Kuala Lumpur project site was the second fatal accident in five months. A stop-work order has been issued on the project.
Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri Dr Fong Chan Onn said a worker died in August last year after he was hit by a piece of wood that fell from a scaffolding. “The fact that there had been two accidents within five months shows some degree of non-compliance or a lapse in the system,” he told reporters after inspecting the accident site and a briefing by developer Pavilion Kuala Lumpur Sdn Bhd yesterday. Dr Fong said an immediate stop-work order had been issued on the residential cum boutique hotel project. “The scaffolding may have given way due to overloading,” he said. During the briefing, Pavilion executive director Y.S. Liew said the project was just six months away from completion. He said the workers had been installing tiles on the outer part of the building when the incident occurred.
In a faxed statement, Pavilion and its sub-contractor Putra Perdana Construction Sdn Bhd expressed regret over the incident and extended their condolences to the families of the deceased workers.
Two dead, 10 hurt when scaffolding collapses at Malaysian site
dpa German Press Agency Published: Wednesday January 10, 2007 Kuala Lumpur-
A Myanmar construction worker and his Malaysian colleague were killed when a 15-metre high scaffolding they were on collapsed Wednesday in the heart of Malaysia's capital Kuala Lumpur. Ten other workers at the construction site in the city's major tourist and shopping area were injured in the accident.
The two victims, a 50-year old local worker and the 35-year old Myanmarese national, died from severe head wounds, said district police chief Muhammad Zulkarnain Abdul Rahman.
Out of the injured, six were said to be in critical condition, Muhammad Zulkarnain was quoted as saying by the official Bernama news agency. The nationalities of the injured, who have been sent to a nearby hospital. have not been confirmed, he said.
In the noon incident, the cables of the metal scaffolding was believed to have given way due to overloading.
Work on the site has been temporarily halted until investigations are conducted.
© 2006 dpa German Press Agency