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Construction is noisy, duty, hazardous and sometimes the most uninhabitable work place one can ever be exposed to. It is also an industry that contributes persistently to high accident rates; especially fatalities.

Employees are easily exposed to hazardous substances such as paints, thinners, glues, varnishes, asbestos, and also to toxic agents mainly from underground work. Sites can easily accumulate debris which can be a fire hazard or a health hazard.

Fire, noise and dust are common constituents in construction sites, can be an inconvenience or danger to the neighbourhood, especially in built-up areas.

Even the smallest construction site has the potential to cause a catastrophe. The construction site indeed versatile and accident are increasing both in absolute terms and by percentage.

Managing safety and health is not only good for safety reasons; it also makes good business sense.

Ignoring safety can result in accident and ill-health which not only guzzle into the profits but can also go to the extent of crippling the whole company.

In order to increase efficiency and reduce accidents, there should be a consistent high standard of performance throughout the construction industry in Malaysia.

The main factor in any standard or system should be the human element. We can have the best equipment, best working environment, but if this is not appropriate to the worker, then the system is doomed to failure. If one looks at the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994, the fundamental principle of the Act is the responsibility of employees and employer.

Unfortunately, the circumstances of the contraction site are such that this vital responsibility is lost. This because contractors usually work on sites away from their company premises, where the level of supervision and management mat be minimal.

(this article written for 1BINA.my)