Last week, Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa issued a stern warning to property developers and construction companies to maintain high safety and hygiene standards in construction sites to avoid enforced closure. Studies of trends of COVID-19 infections in Malaysia and Singapore have revealed that construction sites are prime breeding grounds for rapid disease transmission.
Construction sites in Malaysia are now being monitored more closely to prevent possible disease transmissions. However, a construction site in Jalan Ampang was reported to have violated safety rules during a routine inspection on 10 May 2020.
Why was the construction site in Jalan Ampang forced to close?
A 30-day closure was issued to developers at a construction site in Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur. Issued by Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DPKL), a safety violation was reported under Section 70 of the Street and Drainage Act 1974.
An “Ops Pautau” monitoring inspection discovered that unauthorised accommodation was built in the basement of the construction building to provide temporary lodging for workers. The site is suspected to be a COVID-19 hotspot as two weeks ago, 27 COVID-19 patients were reported from the same construction site.
How do construction site closures affect homeowners?
Delays caused by such closures would affect the handover duration scheduled between property developers and homeowners. Homeowners often claim Liquidated Ascertained Damages (LAD) due to the contract breach, which would incur cost onto property developers.
This cost is passed down to property developers, who would in turn kick the ball further down the chain to construction companies that end up bearing the brunt of losses and risk possible bankruptcy.
Safety precautions should thus be reinforced within all construction companies to ensure homeowners and developers investments and livelihoods are not jeopardised. Most importantly, the health and safety of workers should always be a priority, especially so during such challenging times.
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Source: The Star Malaysia