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IEM offers technical expertise to probe gas plant explosion
KUALA LUMPUR: The Institution of Engineers Malaysia (IEM) has offered its technical expertise and independent advice to investigate the cause of an explosion at the Petronas gas processing plant in Kerteh, Terengganu recently.
IEM also expressed its willingness to study follow-up measures needed to prevent recurrence of such incidents.
"The cause of the explosion is still being investigated by relevant authorities and the results are still unknown, but the findings will certainly be invaluable in helping to identify solutions needed to minimise such accidents," said IEM in a statement.
The explosion, which occurred on May 10, claimed one life while injuring another.
IEM feels that such incident could be avoided if organisations adhered to the highest safety standards.
"By abiding to strict safety standards and placing qualified personnel, these risks could be reduced. When standards are compromised, either due to ignorance or indifference, problems and dangers will crop up.
"Although there are standards and regulations in place to govern safety, IEM feels that there is still a lack of understanding and commitment in the way regulations are implemented.
"Follow-up actions are often neglected in solving engineering problems according to relevant procedures, resulting in disasters," it said.
Hence, IEM said these organisations must always ensure that a careful examination is conducted to understand current tasks in order to make accurate estimate of the risks involved in carrying out appropriate measures to reduce them.
IEM stressed that an engineering safety awareness programme should be given priority to enhance understanding and commitment to safety by all parties involved in organisations.
"Besides human factors, technical reasons are often overlooked, usually due to economic and financial constraints. For example, there are risks in operating and maintaining a plant or a factory during the final stages of its lifespan," said IEM.
It said as the potential for equipment in a plant or a factory to become sub-optimal was very high, continuous and more stringent monitoring on staff and work environment should be done to reduce risks.
In addition, a plant or a factory should be modified or rebuilt as it reaches the end of its lifespan, it added.
"If you try to extend the lifespan without taking necessary steps, it could spell disaster.
"Therefore, it is the responsibility of these organisations to employ engineers, who have professional qualifications, not only during design and construction stages, but also during maintenance period as the risks of accidents are much higher," said IEM. -- BERNAMA