New Strait Times, 28 Sept 2013
I APPLAUD City Hall for its establishment of 54 monitoring teams to ensure that contractors adhere to guidelines and conditions when building public facilities in the city. (Streets, Sept 18)
According to Mayor Datuk Seri Ahmad Phesal Talib, the teams comprising City Hall personnel from various departments will monitor the contractors and their work during and after construction by examining the materials used and monitoring the building process.
It is high time the local authority checked and monitored all public facility projects undertaken by contractors to overcome problems like poor quality building materials, cutting corners and shoddy workmanship.
These problems, which affect public safety, must be addressed at the construction stage to avoid accidents that may lead to injuries or deaths.
Ensuring better occupational safety and health standards at all sites where construction activities are carried out will also prevent workplace accidents, which have a high rate in the construction industry.
Better supervision and monitoring of contractors and their work during construction will also help prevent various forms of leakages, which will only add to the costs of the projects.
Badly-designed or badly-built projects will also lead to constant repairs and upgrades, which will impose additional financial burden on the local authority.
But the most critical reason for supervision and monitoring is public safety, which must never be compromised.
Another important issue is the need for the local authority to ensure a culture of good maintenance for all public facilities.
Poor maintenance has been the constant bane of our community and City Hall should set an example for all the local authorities in the country by embracing a culture of good maintenance.
City Hall's move to set up monitoring teams to ensure the better performance of all contractors must be emulated by all other local authorities in the country in the interest of occupational safety and health and public safety.
Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye, National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health chairman