Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Collapse? Again in Terengganu, this time UMT's oceanography institute...

My first reaction is - Again? Terengganu again? Another collapse? What next?

When others are busy lobbying for P 94 Hulu Selangor, cabinet posts under the "new" MCA line-up or waiting for explaination from Anwar's on 1 Israel vs 1 Malaysia, PERKASA assembly, let's take a back seat on those and zoom in on Terengganu's construction industry.

First, on June 2 June 2009 the RM 250 M roof of Sultan Mizan stadium collapsed. 9 Months later, the government released a 60-page confidential report on the possible causes leading to the collapse :-
  1. Serious engineering flaws;
  2. Shoddy workmanship;
  3. Inferior materials;
  4. Lack of expertise in key project management team;
  5. No checks done during erection period;
Second, 21st December 2009 recorded another incident where the roof to the RM 4 M bus and taxi terminal collapsed in Kuala Berang, Terengganu. This time, MB Ahmad Said was reportedly reported to mention :-
  1. Immediate investigation to determine who is responsible for the mishap;
  2. If the Contractor is at fault, he will be blacklisted;
  3. Shoddy work by Contractors;
  4. Disciplinary actions to those who failed to execute their responsibilities diligently;
  5. Failure to monitor the progress;
Three months on, another incident happened and this time right at the heart of Terengganu's learning centre. The University's VC (students affairs) noted that :-
  1. 1 Bangladeshi worker killed, 2 seriously injured whilst another 2 sustained light injuries;
  2. Result of weak scaffolding;
  3. Nothing wrong with the structure of the building which housed the Varsity's oceanography institute;
More will come forward with their own take on what really happened and what could be done to prevent it from recurring. That leads me to wondering - what is the role of the Engineers in Dewan Perniagaan Terengganu? I understand that a qualified Engineer is leading dewan Perniagaan Melayu but with what's happening in the construction industry, it is high time that the Engineers on board of Dewan Perniagaan Terengganu to take a more serious approach to prevent these mishaps from recurring.

Now, let's do a quick 5W1H scenario of what happened in UMT collapse:-
  1. How do the Consultant Engineers calculate the load of the floor? Is proper calculation done and did the examiner consultant check the design?;
  2. If it is indeed the scaffolding failure - who is the scaffolding supplier? Why did the scaffolding fail? Where is the scaffolding design calculation? Who approve erection of the scaffolding?;
  3. Who is the Health and safety officer? Where is he when the incident happen? How did he conduct tool-box briefing? How did he get the brifieng transferred to the Bangladeshis?;
  4. What actually happened? Is it a cantilever structure? If it is, is the reinforcement design adequate to cater the load? Who approved the cantilever design?
  5. The incident happened at 5.30 pm. At that stage of point what is the balance percentage to complete the concreting? What is the volume of concreting for the structure? Is it done in a single pour or multiple pour? Is there any cold joint involved?;
  6. Is there any cross-bracing done to reinforce the scaffolding? What is the condition of the scaffolding foundation? Is it on mushy ground or wet ground or dry and even surface?
  7. Is the scaffolding properly erected? What is the material used for scaffolding? Are the scaffolding ties properly braced?
  8. Did the bucket (for concrete) hit the formwork? What caused the scaffolding to give way? The footing, the weight or external forces?
For good measure, may I propose the following specifically for Terengganu-based contractors :-
  1. Register all works with relevant authorities;
  2. DOSH to ensure that all HSE supervisiors are properly certified;
  3. DOSH to provide training and regularly visit "high-risk" construction sites;
  4. Dewan Perniagaan Terengganu, Professional bodies to conduct safety talks in Terengganu for Terengganu based contractor;
  5. All concreting should be done under the supervision and presence of supervisors and the Consultant should also be present during concreting;
  6. All scaffolding to be regularly inspected;
  7. Used scaffolding to be properly inspected and scaffolding suppliers should be accountable for their product;
  8. The contractor should be remanded first until thourough investigation is completed;
Once is already frightening, twice is heartbreaking but thrice? Let this be a lesson and eye-opener for Terengganu-based contractors. Malaysia is watching and the clock is ticking. please, no more unnecessary "collapse" in the near future...Terengganu is Terengganu darul Iman and not Terengganu darul R...... If teh contractors think that the law is turning a blind eye just because they are away from the city, they are dead wrong. Get your acts together DOSH and for MB's speechwriters, please get a draft speech ready for "future" mishaps...

Till then...G'nite M'sia...wherever u are...


Anonymous said...

What else do we expect when most tenders were dished out to cronies or warlords under the special negotiated scheme. There must be transparency for accountability to take place. We have buildings that are easily over a hundred year and still it stands as an icon today.

What need to be done urgently is to review those contractors that were awarded those projects. We cannot compromise on the true value of a qualified engineer. Either he knows his work or he is not qualified for that assignment.

Could it be mere coincidences for so many mishaps to have happened in Trengganu ? There was the Perak debacle where a building collapse into the lake/river front or something even before taking possesion. Again, what has happen to that issue ? Maybe MACC is still too busy to investigate it.

We cannot allow corruptions to continue unhindered and cause untold miseries to the tax-payers and bring shame to our beloved nation. The poor have already suffered enough with so many basic daily items rising beyond their means. Let us hear them well this time and see what reports will be issued.

nightcaller said...

Anon 5:35

Let's assume that your contention that the tender was dished out to cronies under special negotiated scheme. That will inflate the contract price to the Contractor's advantage.

With the comfort of good pricing, the Contractor should not be compromising on the quality of works and the supervision team. Afterall, this has been costed in the price. Thus, why did it still happen when the price is "good"?

Is the scaffolding made of sub-standard material? Or has the scaffolding reached its "working life"? Is the "wear and tear" taken its toll? If that is so, then the responsible party is the scaffolding supplier for not assuring that the products used is of highest and performing quality. If that is the case, then corruption, poor supervision team is not the answer. The problem then lies within human greed who is trying to maximise profit through repeated use of scaffolding materials. By the way, is there any guideline how many times a scaffolding set can be re-cycled? I understand that formwork has a limited cycle...

That said, it goes back to monitoring system. What is DOSH doing? Where are their officers? Are they doing their random rounds at project sites or are they doing random rounds to find the best mamak stall in town?

It will not be complete if I did not include the workers. Do they wear proper shoes, safety helmets, safety belts whilst working at high places? Are they registered and certified to work in construction industry? Or has fatique set in leading the multiple chains of events causing the collapse?

The government needs to find answers and solutions. Rhetorics is already stale news. I wait to see what Terengganu state government is coming out to prevent this mishap from recurring and recurring and recurring....

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