KUCHING, Dec 27: Traffic flow at Padang Merdeka was extremely slow today as works were carried out to erect safety measures for the construction hole which resulted in the tragic death of a motorcyclist yesterday.
Concrete barriers were moved to the site and steel bars were installed this afternoon following the mishap yesterday morning.
There are more than one potentially hazardous hole at the ongoing flood mitigation construction site, with some drains a few metres long and a metre wide.
Workers, when met at the site, refused to disclose further whether the extra safety measures were due to the accident yesterday, merely saying that there were always barriers there.
So far the contractor of the flood mitigation project awarded by Kuching North City Hall (DBKU) had yet to release an official statement on the incident.
The fatal accident at Padang Merdeka yesterday morning has caused seething anger and outrage over poor safety measures with pressure piling on the local authority who issued the permit to the contractor to carry out the sewerage work.
The 29-year-old victim, Dina Dzulkarnian Asan, son of a photojournalist, was believed to have drowned after he lost control of his motorcycle and fell into a huge drain.
Photos of the accident with the body of the victim, his red helmet, motorcycle and a huge drum barrel floating in the water-filled drain which was covered with only wire netting went viral on social media with netizens questioning the poor safety measures which claimed another life, after a number of similar incidents previously.
Meanwhile, the Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) has issued a prohibition notice for failing to install a barrier for dredging works.
The department, in a press statement today, said it has conducted an investigation yesterday.
DOSH said that it will also conduct further investigations with the local authorities to identify the cause of the accident and legal action will be taken if there was a violation of the rules under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (1994) by the responsible party.
At the same time, DOSH urged all construction project contractors to comply with and improve their occupational safety and health procedures, particularly in construction activities and projects involving the public to prevent accidents. – Dayak Daily