KUCHING: An amendment to counter the weakness of implementation of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) 1994 in construction industries has been proposed.

According to Occupational Safety and Health senior advocate Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima Lee Lam Thye, the proposal would introduce Occupational Safety and Health in Construction Industry Management (OSCHIM) for the construction industry.

Based on 10,917 construction site inspections done by Department of Occupational Safety and Health last year, 9,429 notices were issued, 740 offences were compounded and 113 cases were prosecuted for various safety and health offences.

“In the current situation, only contractors are held liable for any untoward on-site incidents and consultants who are involved in its structural design.

“OSCHIM would share the responsibility between all stakeholders in a project, from its conception to its completion, to ensure the health and safety of the entire project’s lifecycle,” said Lee during his keynote speech at the Public Works Department (JKR) Sarawak Safety and Quality Forum here yesterday.

Occupational Safety and Health Senior Advocates Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima Lee Lam Thye (second left) with (from right) Institute of Engineering Malaysia (IEM) Sarawak branch chairman Haidel Heli; State JKR Quality Manager Stephanie Sim listening to the State JKR director Datuk Ir Zuraimi Sabki in a conversation during JKR Sarawak Safety and Quality Forum at Imperial hotel, Kuching. Photos: Mohd Alif Noni

Lee added that OSCHIM could also aid in the health, safety, skills, and welfare of foreign workers that work under intense pressure to complete the project on time, with long working hours.

He also explained that to resolve the issue holistically, all parties—from the project owner, designer to contractor—must directly comply with construction industry regulatory and standard requirements.

“Related parties, including professional bodies training institutions, non-governmental organisations, and relevant agencies must work together.

“This will ensure the construction industry in Malaysia is safe, healthy, productive, conductive, and ready to meet stakeholder expectations, which is to achieve global competitiveness,” said Lee.

The participants pay attention during the forum.