Tuesday, 15 January 2019, Sematan: Walking into the site office of Samling Resources at Sematan, one can see the framed HSE Policy Statement hung prominently on the wall.
The statement stipulates the company’s aims to establish a culture that enables it to reach and sustain health, safety and environmental (HSE) excellence.
For the main contractor of the Telok Melano-Sematan stretch of Pan Borneo Highway Sarawak, its job is not just about opening a virgin forest, literally, and building a road from the idyllic beach town of Sematan linking to near the tip end of Sarawak at Telok Melano village.
Whilst doing so, Samling strives to ensure everyone involved in this project, from project manager right down to general workers, are safe at the end of the day, every day.
This strict compliance of a HSE commitment has earned Samling Resources a 2 million man-hours without lost time injury (LTI) since it started construction work at the end of 2015 until its practical completion recently.
“We follow the HSE practices religiously, from day one we started this project until the end. Day in and day out, we keep reminding our workers that safety is our top priority, and never compromise on it. We educate our workers on the importance of HSE, so that they understand how it will keep them safe,” said Samling Resources HSE Manager, Joseph James.
Keeping everyone on their toes when it comes to HSE practices is not without its challenges.
“We do encounter instances when workers do not follow the rules, for instance by not wearing the personal protective equipment. It’s about changing habits. Our daily toolbox briefings are important sessions to remind everyone of the importance of following safety practices.”
“New workers are given an induction course at the start, from day one on our team. We want them to know that we mean business when it comes to safety,” added Joseph.
Safety Supervisor Paulin Loot said HSE practices at the Telok Melano-Sematan works package is very much in the heart of all workers.
“It has become a culture for us as we have daily safety briefing. Most workers are very cooperative as they understand the importance of HSE while carrying out their daily works.
“And I am proud to say that due to everyone’s cooperation, we are able to achieve the 2 million safe-man hours without any major incidents,” said Paulin.
LBU HSE Officer Peter Yahya said there is a ‘self-regulated’ HSE culture among the workers. “Working in a greenfield project to open it up areas and build a new road linking Sematan to the once inaccessible Telok Melano is in itself full of uncertainty.
“We are proud to say that despite the challenges, we managed to complete the 32.770km stretch without any compromise on the safety. This is due to great cooperation from everyone that we are able to ensure that all the workers are safe,” said Peter.