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AMI wants to be top fire extinguisher maker in the country in the next five years

KUALA LUMPUR: Fire extinguisher maker AMI Venture Sdn Bhd aims to be among the country's top three fire extinguisher manufacturers in five years riding on the growing awareness of fire safety in the country.

AMI managing director Ahmad Mudzafri Idris said this can be achieved through aggressive and concentrated marketing campaigns plus a good after sales support and service as well as competitive pricing.

"Prospects for the company is bright as there are around 11 million fire extinguishers registered with the Fire and Rescue Department which needs yearly maintenance and certification and these numbers are growing rapidly.

"Furthermore, new commercial development will need new fire extinguishers and we anticipate around 3 million new fire extinguishers are needed every year to cater all new property developments," Ahmad Mudzafri said in a statement here recently.

He added the company is also poised for growth as the existing 11 million fire extinguishers also need replacement after 10 years of usage.

"AMI is growing all the time and we plan to invest another RM3 million in the next 2 years to increase our current production capacity.

He added the company had recently moved to its new production facility in Rembia, Melaka which would be able to deliver its required capacity for the next 7 years.

"AMI plans to expand on its second facility to fulfill our growth trajectory for the subsequent 20 years.

AMI has a total of RM5 million contracts in hand and its corporate clients include Petronas, Maybank, Fire and Rescue Department, Felda, Telekom Malaysia, government schools, fire contractors and consultants who supplies the company's fire extinguishers to end users.

Ahmad Mudzafri said the industry outlook looks very promising due to the cropping up of new major commercial developments such as the Tun Razak Exchange, Forest City, Melaka Gateway and Petronas Rapid complex in Pengerang, Johor and many more others which will create huge demand for new fire extinguishers.

"In addition, there is a huge untapped market for fire extinguishers at residential homes and in private vehicles which is currently not regulated by the Fire and Rescue Department which will be an increasing new revenue stream for AMI.

He added this market segment (residential and private vehicles) require fire extinguishers with a much smaller capacity (1kg or 2kg) and overall, the company anticipate an increasing trend for fire extinguishers for the next 5-10 years with a steady yearly growth of between 20 per cent and 30 per cent.

Read More: https://www.nst.com.my/business/2019/03/468022/ami-wants-be-top-fire-extinguisher-maker-country-next-five-years

Niosh: Journalists covering Sg Kim Kim disaster should wear proper protection

KUALA LUMPUR: The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (Niosh) today urged media practitioners covering the chemical pollution crisis at Sungai Kim Kim in Pasir Gudang to be properly protected.

Its chairman, Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye, said media practitioners should never compromise when it comes to their personal safety.

This came after several journalists covering the disaster experienced the ‘Kim Kim symptom’, with varying levels of severity.

“These media practitioners need to be on the ground, as it is their responsibility to cover such an event. However, they must be adequately equipped with personal protective equipment (PPE).

“When media practitioners are asked to cover cases involving toxic fumes, they must speak to their management to be provided with appropriate personal protective equipment. This relates to what they need to wear to protect themselves.

“It is their right to speak to their management to ensure that their management will be able to provide them with PPE.

“We do not want to see them falling sick while on duty due to not being adequately protected. They can be the victims or part of the numbers affected,” Lee said when contacted today.

At the same time, media organisations must ensure that those sent to such scenes are properly protected.

“It is the responsibility of media organisations to ensure their staff are properly protected.

“You cannot expect the reporters to go and buy proper PPE and it is not fair for them to do so.

“The management must provide those covering the scene with proper PPE, to ensure they will be protected while carrying out their task and return safely.”

Lee said journalists must be equipped with the right type of PPE, in accordance with the level of exposure.

“For example, if they go to Sungai Kim Kim, where the source of the problem started with the highest level of exposure, they must be told what type of PPE they should wear.

“The type of mask that one wears during haze is different from the one that needs to be worn in the Sungai Kim Kim case.”

He said for those who need to be at Sungai Kim Kim, a half face mask with multigas cartridge is needed, while for those covering outside the area, a N95 face mask is highly recommended.

Yesterday, Harian Metro journalist Mary Victoria Dass became the latest to come down with ‘Kim Kim symptom’.

She received outpatient treatment for bleeding from the nose, sore throat, nausea and dizziness while covering an event at Menara Aqabah in the Pasir Gudang Municipal Council.

Previously, Astro Awani journalist Ernalisa Othman and Johor TV3 bureau chief Zahir Senapiah were also treated for similar symptoms.

Read More: https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2019/03/469853/niosh-journalists-covering-sg-kim-kim-disaster-should-wear-proper

Stop-work order issued to 16 construction sites in Pahang

KUANTAN: The state Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) has issued 16 stop-work orders to construction sites which had failed to adhere to the safety requirements during the ‘Operasi Cegah Runtuh Cegah Jatuh’ between Feb 25 and March 25.

State DOSH director Mohamad Jais Suratman said 80 prohibition notices and 36 notices of repairs were also issued to negligent contractors in three districts, namely Kuantan, Pekan and Rompin, for various offences.

He said the offences included failure to ensure proper floor surfaces at the site, paths not cleared of building materials and workers not using proper protective gear while at work.

“DOSH wants to ensure that workers have a safe working environment and protect them from accidents and work-related illnesses. The National Occupational Health and Safety’s policy has to be adhered by both employers and employees.

He said action could be taken against errand developers through legal means, apart from issuing notices and compounds.

“We want to ensure that working sites are safe and nobody is exposed to any danger,” he told reporters when met after conducting a visit to the Menara Teruntum construction site here today.

Jais said for the 16 sites which had been issued with stop-work order, the department would subsequently ensure that the respective contractors carry out the required improvements before they are allowed to resume work.

Meanwhile, he said Pahang DOSH recorded a drop in death cases reported at the construction sector with only two cases last year compared to five in 2017.

However, he said in the first three months of this year, DOSH recorded one case on Jan 31 which involved a worker in the Jalan Kuantan-Segamat road construction works.

Read More: https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2019/03/471968/stop-work-order-issued-16-construction-sites-pahang

Have safety and preventive measures in place

When we talk about industrial disasters, what comes to mind are the 1984 Bhopal gas leak tragedy from a pesticide plant in Madhya Pradesh, India, and the 1954 Minamata mercury poisoning disaster in Japan.

We may have to add the recent poisoning in Pasir Gudang to the list.

In the Bhopal tragedy, toxic gas from a pesticide plant leaked from storage tanks in the middle of the night. By the next morning, more than 2,000 people in the vicinity were found dead and thousands more in the following days.

According to reports, faulty plant design and pipes, safety devices, poor maintenance of tanks, lax storage safety procedures and negligent staff were among the causes. Those who survived suffer from respiratory, neurological, gynecological, psychological, genetic and ocular issues. The Atlantic magazine states that it is the world’s worst industrial disaster, and after three decades, survivors are still fighting to have the site cleaned up.

In the Minamata disaster, mercury poisoning affected thousands of people who consumed seafood contaminated by methyl mercury in wastewater. Methyl mercury was released from a chemical factory in Minamata. The high level of mercury in marine products caused neurological disorders, and sensory and auditory disturbances in people who lived near the contaminated area. The industrial pollution also resulted in environmental degradation, marine pollution and affected fisheries. The effects impaired low socio-economic groups and fishermen.

And, now, in the 21st century, we have this grim case of industrial pollution in Pasir Gudang, Johor. Initial reports stated that 2,775 people were affected by toxic fumes released from the illegal dumping of chemicals into Sungai Kim Kim. More than 100 schools remain closed at the time of writing. About 1,250 tonnes of soil, water and sludge samples had been collected from the river. Earlier, it was reported that 15 types of chemicals, including hydrogen cyanide, were found in air samples taken from the surrounding areas.

Efforts are underway to prevent another wave of toxic pollution. But the question remains — how did the dumping of chemicals escape enforcement?

Illegal discharge of factory waste is not new and has been going on for years. Many other rivers and numerous sites throughout the country have been polluted by industrial waste. Surely, we do not want another episode of chemical pollution to go wrong before we realise that it is too late for recovery efforts.

The effects of past industrial disasters should serve as powerful reminders that people usually end up paying the price for the irresponsible and unscrupulous acts of the callous few. Effects of industrial disaster is widespread. The need to enforce environmental safety procedures and implement preventive strategies cannot be understated. Because for as long as enforcement is not stressed upon and procedures are not followed, pollution will continue and the lives of the public will be under threat.

It is urgent to act now.

Dr S. Mathana Amaris Fiona

Puchong, Selangor

Read more at: https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/letters/2019/03/473520/have-safety-and-preventive-measures-place

Upgrade fire safety in schools

Tuesday, 31 Jul 2018 - MIRI: Many schools in Sarawak that cater to rural students and boarders have been found to be lacking in fire-safety aspects.

Local politicians are calling for urgent checks, especially on wiring, to be carried out in all primary and secondary schools throughout Sarawak.

Puncak Borneo MP Willie Mongin said the state government and the Education Ministry must work together on the matter.

“The tragic death of 25-year-old teacher Catherine Janet Tiwi in the teachers quarters at SK Batu Bungan in Mulu last Thursday showed that many of the wooden buildings are fire-risks.

“Get the Fire and Rescue Department and Department of Safety and Health (Niosh) to conduct on-the-spot inspections,” he said.

Julau MP Larry Sng said checks of all important safety aspects of the buildings must be carried out, adding that he had raised such concerns before.

Teo (centre) handed over a contribution to the Tiwi Nios (left) and Wency Seimon, the parents of teacher Catherine Janet Tiwi who died in the fire after saving two of her colleagues. — Bernama
Teo (in white blouse) visited SK Batu Bungan in Mulu last Saturday.

“Safety facilities such are fire escapes, safety switches, fire-proof wiring, hydrants and extinguishers must be put in place.

Sng said the most common found in rural schools is unsafe wiring and blocked fire-escape routes and stariways.

He said many of the schools also do not have fire alarms.

The lack of safety features endangers the lives of people in the event of fires, he stressed, adding that Sarawak has at least 500 primary and secondary schools that are in needed of urgent repairs.

Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching visited SK Batu Bungan on Saturday and said she will forward a proposal to the ministry to channel funds immediately to SK Batu Bungan Parents-Teachers Association to carry out repairs of the building destroyed in the fire.

She said her ministry is looking into the safety issues of all schools in Sarawak.

“Our ministry is concerned about these issues in schools.

“The tragic fire that caused the death of Catherine must not occur again in our schools,” she said.

Teo said the ministry needs to work out the budget required to repair all schools in the state and country.

Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/metro/metro-news/2018/07/31/upgrade-fire-safety-in-schools-officials-say-rural-institutions-need-urgent-improvements/#zW5jsXMOrvS62S2R.99