Sarawak Energy’s Baleh Hydroelectric Project achieves new safety milestone

The launching of Baleh HEP HSSE Week.

KUCHING, Sept 19: Sarawak Energy (SEB)’s 1,285MW Baleh Hydroelectric Project (HEP) has achieved a significant safety milestone of four million man-hours without Lost Time Injury (LTI) in August this year.

According to its group chief executive officer Datu Sharbini Suhaili, safety is always the top priority for Sarawak Energy to ensure everyone return home safely and, as such, SEB requires full safety compliance from its staff as well as contractors working on its projects.

It also applied to those who have been engaged as part of SEB’s operations with the company’s Life Saving Rules as well as the Covid-19 Standard Operating Procedures (SOP).

“The most significant of efforts undertaken by the Baleh Project team and contractors in this past year has been the management of the Covid-19 situation since it was first reported in January 2020.

“With the special approval of the state leadership, we were able to continue work at the Baleh site under a controlled environment while ensuring the health and safety of staff, contractors and nearby communities,” he said when remarking on the achievement during the launch of the Baleh HEP Health, Safety Security and Environment (HSSE) Week themed “Embracing HSSE Culture: Assess, Comply and Empower” at the project site, held recently.

“On behalf of the Sarawak Energy leadership team, I would like to convey my appreciation to the Baleh Project team and our contractors for this major safety milestone and urge all to emulate this and maintain focus of safety,” he added.

Meanwhile, IR Pramod Kumar Karunakaran, who is the executive vice president for Project Delivery, asserted that health, safety and environment are of critical importance as Sarawak Energy worked towards meeting the energy demand for Sarawak and beyond amidst the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.

““We are pleased to be able to come to the Baleh site to recognise and appreciate your efforts for this highly commendable achievement. This past year has seen us reach a critical stage of the Baleh HEP river diversion tunnels construction peaking with over 700 people working on site.

“Despite the various challenges, we maintained our focus on the stringent adherence to health, safety and environment requirements and were able to clock 4 million safe man-hours without lost time injury as of August 2020,” he said.

On stepping up safety efforts at the Baleh project site, Pramod noted SEB also has increased the number of its HSSE personnel to improve health, safety and environment surveillance at the project site.

Ung (second right) presenting a token of appreciation to one of the contractors, while Pramod (right), Marconi (third left), Nooruddin (second left) and general manager for Baleh HEP Tan Hang Kiak (left), and the others look on.

“We have also leveraged on technology by utilising an in-house developed Unsafe Act Unsafe Condition (UAUC) mobile application to increase the efficiency of tracking, monitoring and closure of unsafe acts and unsafe conditions at the project site.

“Besides our internal HSSE programme, we are also collaborating with the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) to ensure competency of all workers,” he added.

Also speaking during the event were SEB HSSE (health, safety, security and environment) group vice president Marconi Madai, who emphasised on the importance of embracing a workplace safety culture and highlighted three core behaviors of Assess, Comply and Empower (ACE) as part of Sarawak Energy HSE.

He explained that Assess refers to analysing all potential hazards to mitigate risks, Comply means adhering to laws, standards and procedures, and Empower calls for staff to intervene and stop work in the event of any unsafe acts or unsafe conditions

“In pursuing HSSE Excellence, it requires the commitment of everyone to embrace a culture of disciplined implementation of HSSE procedures and guidelines in our daily work environment” he said.

Also present at the event were CEO of SEB Power, Sarawak Energy’s generation arm James Ung, senior vice president for Legal and Enterprise Risk Nooruddin Abdullah and other members of the senior management team. –DayakDaily.