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The roles or function of an engineer to ensure the safety and health at the workplace

(construction industry). Discuss.

Nowadays, health and safety at construction industry has become an important issue. The
mission of Department Occupation Safety and Health (DOSH) is to ensure safety and health at
work. The organizations involved are DOSH, National Institute for Occupational Safety and
Health (NIOSH) and Social Security Organization (SOCSO). Sadly, not every personnel
involved in industries understands that. The numbers of accident at construction industry have
increased greatly although the implementation of the law. Health and safety is mainly about
providing a safe and healthy workplace to the employees. Safety at workplace is an important
aspect which is many organization of todays world disregard. A safety and health management
system, or safety program, can help to focus your efforts at improving your work environment.
Many people face an accident in various situations especially due to negligence, recklessness,
and carelessness. So, in order to counter this issues, engineers on site is responsible to ensure the
safety and health of the workers at the workplace according to the regulation of OSHA 1994 Part
V which highlights the general duties of designers, manufacturers and suppliers.

The construction industry plays a big role in the development process of a country where
successful development would contribute towards the economic growth generating additional
demands for construction activities. According to the summary of major accidents in
construction sites in Malaysia, there are at least five categories of fatalities in the construction
industry namely falls, electrocutions, vehicle rollover, personnel run over by vehicle and
excavation cave-ins. However, falling from heights recorded as the most common fatalities in
construction site in Malaysia as for the years 20002009. The statistical data also reported 656
555 accidents in all industries (6.5% of all accidents in industries) and 42775 accidents in the
Malaysian construction industry. Out of the total numbers of accident, there were only 9% of
female workers. Improper maintenance of equipment when working at height will be the reason
of why all these accidents were happen.

One of the famous accidents happen in Malaysia years ago. In 2014, three workers died while
working on the parapet for MRT construction. A 300tone weight of span dislodged from it piers
and fell on the ground below. The main reason for the accident was there are no engineers
present during the work. If the engineers had present there to supervise the work, it could avoid
the accident from happening and save the workers life.

Engineers play big roles to ensure the safety of workers at construction site. Every design of
equipment must follow the specifications provided in Building Operations and Works
Engineering Construction (BOWECS 1986). The act covers all the activity in construction such
as concreting, demolition and excavation works. The act also provides specification of items and
equipment involved in construction, for example the materials used for design of scaffolding
must strong enough to support all the load on it. Other than that, engineers should do regular
inspection on all items and equipment involved in work to avoid any problems during work that
can affect the progression of work. Machines must be inspected for maintenance to ensure the
workability. Engineers must supervise their construction site and detect any possible threat and
hazard to avoid any accidental occurrence and to reduce casualties.

Engineers should understand all the risk and hazard present in workplace. Understanding the risk
and hazard will help in reducing accidental rate in workplace. Hierarchy of Risk Control method
can help engineers to identify hazard in workplace with ease. By doing this, it can make sure that
the designing of the equipment and tools will eliminate any of the risk involving safety and
health. As the designers, they need to consider the safety of those people at construction site.
Engineers play an important role in this situation. Engineers should carryout work by following
the specification given in drawing designs provided. All items and equipment must be check
frequently to avoid any malfunctioning while working. Engineers should do detailed study of
drawings and documents thoroughly and follow up with consultant regarding drawings or any
query in drawings. All of this are required to maintain safety and health for every personnel in
the construction site.

1. Journal :
i) Chong, H. Y., & Low, T. S. (2014). Accidents in Malaysian construction industry:
statistical data and court cases. International journal of occupational safety and
ergonomics, 20(3), 503-513.
ii) Abdullah, D. N. M. A., & Wern, G. C. M. (2011). An analysis of accidents
statistics in Malaysian construction sector. In International Conference on E-
business, Management and Economics (Vol. 3, pp. 1-4).