• "The ECRL Safety and Health Campaign 2023 is our continuous commitment to sustaining that value in the long run.”

KUALA TERENGGANU (March 20): The East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project has achieved the milestone of 10 million safe man-hours without any lost-time injury, according to project owner Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd (MRL).

This achievement was recorded at the end of February 2023, underpinned by the implementation of safe work practices on a 24/7 basis and effective teamwork at all levels of the project, it said in a statement issued jointly with the project’s engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning contractor China Communications Construction (ECRL) Sdn Bhd (CCC-ECRL).

MRL and CCC-ECRL made the announcement in conjunction with the launch of the ECRL Safety and Health Campaign 2023 at the project’s Section 4 casting yard in Dungun on Saturday (March 18).

The project has a manpower of about 17,000 currently, consisting of personnel from the project owner, the EPCC contractor and its subcontractors.

On the campaign, MRL chief executive officer Datuk Seri Darwis Abdul Razak said it was launched to further instil safety awareness, identify potential hazards, and enhance workers’ confidence.

Themed “Alert Today, Alive Tomorrow”, the campaign would complement the rapid construction of the 665km ECRL alignment involving some 350 main work sites, he said.

The ECRL project launched its inaugural safety campaign back in March 2021, and has made progressive improvements to its safety management system, which includes the training of over 1,000 personnel through simulation and reactive safety exercises in its centralised safety training centres in Kemaman, Maran and Bentong approved by the Department of Occupational Safety and Health.

“These training centres also provide competency training for workers involving authorised entrants and standby persons for confined spaces,” the statement said.

The training centres are equipped with state-of-the-art virtual reality (VR) simulation, with nearly 100 potential hazardous on-site situations, and offer real-life experiences, such as tunnel evacuation, electric shocks, safety helmet crashes and the retaining wall pushing over.

CCC-ECRL managing director Kong Qi said that traditionally, workers would have to sit through hour-long briefings on safety training.

“However, in a realistic VR simulation, they can experience potentially hazardous situations without getting hurt, and benefit from a more interactive and engaging learning experience. This approach has proven to be effective in achieving the zero lost-time injury goal,” he said.

In expressing gratitude to Darwis and MRL for their trust and support, Kong added: “We both hold the common value that the safety of our workers is of utmost importance. The ECRL Safety and Health Campaign 2023 is our continuous commitment to sustaining that value in the long run.”

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