Compliance with highway safety SOPs still low – JBPM


MELAKA – The low compliance with safety standard operating procedures (SOPs) among developers and contractors has continued to pose risks to highway users, said Fire and Rescue Department of Malaysia (JBPM) deputy director-general (Development) Datuk Soiman Jahid.

He said the collapse of the iron scaffolding construction of the Sungai Besi-Ulu Kelang Expressway (SUKE) near Desa Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur yesterday was not the first time such an incident has occurred adding that the disaster could have been avoided if the parties concerned had followed the SOPs to a tee.

“There is nothing wrong with the SOP. Its due to compliance failure that such incidents tend to recur. The rules have been set and implemented by the local authorities but there are still developers or contractors who fail to comply with the rules.

“As such fines and penalties must be imposed, so that these developers and contractors will be more responsible,” he told reporters when accompanied by director Abu Obaidat Mohamad on a working visit to Melaka JBPM here today.

Soiman added that as constructions involving highway areas are known to be very risky, the developers should always take into account safety factors, provide warnings, adequate lightings and take good housekeeping measures to prevent vehicles from colliding into structures erected across the road.

Meanwhile, Soiman called on Melaka JBPM personnel as well as firefighters to always be aware of current developments in an effort to improve services.

“Since Melaka has several historic buildings, there is a need for officers here to have expert reference in its approach to securing historical or heritage buildings, that are in abundance in this state.

“In the event of a fire or a disaster, these experts would be sought to deal with this type of building. Perhaps those equipped with this special knowledge could go further at the international level to assist in managing fire safety in historical buildings,” he said.