LETTERS The partial collapse of the Taman Desa Apartment building, which is under construction, is yet another incident that raises questions about the safety of our construction sites.
With construction mishaps occurring and making headline after headline, we wonder why such problems persist.
Despite the plethora of laws to safeguard against such incidents, they continue to happen.
The public and safety practitioners should know that the authorities alone cannot contain and combat the problem if we continue to ignore the matter and adopt the “do what we want to do as long as one does not get caught” attitude.
We know too well that when an incident of such a nature happens, what follow are investigations, inquests, recommendations and actions against those responsible, as well as corrective and preventive measures to preclude recurrence.
That begets these questions:
DO we wait for another incident to happen before we take action or do we act to prevent it?; and,
SURELY, there are lessons to be learned in each and every incident investigated. But do we ever learn from these tragedies and is the outcome shared with others?
I wish to refer to the approach adopted by the world aviation industry, in which the outcome of each air accident investigation is shared with all air operators and authorities through official reports.
Air safety has improved tremendously, thanks to the adage and attitude that everyone makes mistake: it’s only a fool that makes the same mistakes twice and a wiser person learns from other’s mistakes.
Safety is everyone’s concern, from individuals to practitioners. Awareness of safety should lead to the adoption of safe work cultures and practices by all stakeholders.
However, general safety awareness should reach all levels of society.
Safety culture could begin at home and enhanced as safe work culture at the workplace.
The Alliance for a Safe Community recognises that the authorities and professionals in occupational safety deal with specific areas of construction safety, such as in the Taman Desa incident.
However, the public can collaborate with the authorities to take parallel action to create better safety awareness towards building a safer Malaysia.
TAN SRI LEE LAM THYE
CHAIRMAN, ALLIANCE FOR A SAFE COMMUNITY
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of the New Straits Times