Problems faced in Construction & How can we improve Workplace Safety?

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sabrina k

sabrina k

The Construction industry is one of the economy’s most important industries, as it is the foundation of a country. Jobs in the construction industry not only include construction workers but also, flooring installer, surveyor, brick mason, iron worker, crane operator etc.

However countries like Malaysia have to rely on foreign labour as the construction industry is not seen positively by locals and instead, seen as a very challenging one. The low participation rate from locals has now become a challenge in Malaysia’s construction industry.

Here are some common problems in the construction industry of Malaysia, causing negative perceptions and low participation:

1. Poor working conditions and lack of safety in construction sites

Unfortunately, occupational fatalities and deaths occur in Construction industries in all countries. Death, disability & injuries happen, and instances of injury or disability are just as bad as death. There is no way to properly measure how much is lost when a worker dies or faces disability, but even a fine of thousands of Ringgit on the management will never be able to replace what has been lost. 

For many workers, their job is their only livelihood. Once these workers face disability, they are no longer able to work like they used to, meaning they lose their income for life.

2. Lack of proper skilled labour training programs

Many workers in the Construction industry are unskilled laborers. It is reported that more than 90% of foreign laborers in Malaysia appear to be unskilled workers. Having only the basic knowledge about Construction and not actually knowing the different systems that exist, these workers may have a harder time kicking off in their jobs as they are unsure of how to operate certain things. 

For example, the industrialised building system (IBS) which is a system in Malaysia used in Construction, requires a good amount of knowledge from workers to be executed accurately. 

Unskilled laborers lead to low-quality production, low productivity, delays in projects, and high accident rates. These problems can be solved if workers are properly trained, allowing firms to achieve greater heights and success.

3. Salary

Many people find construction unappealing as on top of the poor working conditions, the pay they receive is not comparable to the amount of effort required as well as the risks workers face. There are also many firms who make use of the high foreign labor as an excuse to provide lower pay, as they know that many of these workers are willing to accept the standard that has been set by these firms.

However, by increasing pay, we can actually increase worker satisfaction which potentially leads to higher productivity and eventually, higher profits for the business. One way to increase pay without using up more money is by saving on training resources. (Continue reading for an elaboration)

All these issues can be easily solved with one solution. Take for example the problem of workplace safety and health.

How can we improve workplace safety and health?

Ensure workers have adequate onboarding prior to starting their jobs. WSH training encompasses many aspects. From ensuring safety on-site, safety equipment checklists, safety with machinery etc., must all be covered in the training programme.

Having stacks of binders or conducting months of training to cover all these topics and having them delivered in the preferred language of construction workers may be impractical as there is a variety of language used by them. ArcLab enables firms to easily translate training content with just a click of a button. The SmarTranslate function has helped companies like Woh Hup prepare their training materials in a number of languages without much hassle. 

Here are other things you can achieve with ArcLab

Other things you can achieve with ArcLab include creating effective training. Training content should be made in bite-sizes to increase learner retention and enable training materials to be accessed whenever it is needed. ArcLab modules are easy to understand and are sent through SMS, making it not complicated for your workers to access.

You can also provide necessary checklists using ArcLab modules to remind workers of the proper attire and safety harnesses they should have on them when working on high floors.

Don’t be hesitant to spend on training and development due to budget or lack of resources. 

ArcLab has helped construction companies like Woh Hup create effective training for their workers, and we welcome Malaysian firms to come onboard. That helps you deliver effective training easily.

Read more on how ArcLab is a cost and time saving solution for Mobile Training

Photo by Mikita Yo on Unsplash, Parth Savani on Unsplash 

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