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Contractor slapped with three charges over Bukit Kukus landslide

Published:  |  Modified:

Syarikat Yuta Maju Sdn Bhd, the main contractor for the Bukit Kukus paired road project, claimed trial to three charges over the landslide that killed nine and injured four last October.

The Safety and Health Department (Dosh) said in a statement that the three charges were read separately before judge Mazdi Abdul Hamid at the George Town Sessions Court today.

Yuta Maju and its project director were charged under Section 15(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994 over the failure to use proper engineering calculations by expert engineers for back filing work at a temporary slope, which is alleged to have caused the fatal landslide.

"Yuta Maju was also charged under the same section for failing to prepare a safe work procedure for the lifting of beams by a crane, causing the beam to collapse at the worksite on Oct 11," Dosh said.

"In the third charge under Section 29(2) of the same act, Yuta Maju failed to appoint a competent safety and health officer at the worksite."

The judge fixed July 16 for case mention.

Dosh said it viewed the incident seriously, and that the contractor is fully responsible for all activities at the worksite.

"They should have identified dangerous spots at the worksite, carried out risk analysis, and provided effective risk control before their workers commenced their jobs.

"This will reduce such risks before it affects the safety and health of workers and the public," it said.

The tragic landslide involved at least 42,000 tonnes of earth falling on 12 container cabins housing 13 foreign workers, Dosh said, which is the equivalent to the impact of 2,000 10-wheel lorries.

In February, Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said that Yuta Maju would not be given any new projects, but that it would nevertheless be compelled to complete works on the Bukit Kukus paired road.

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