News & Updates

Sarawak Energy’s Baleh Project Achieves New Safety Milestone

Four Million Safe Man-Hours Without Lost Time Injury Achievement Recognised



August 2020 has seen the 1,285MW Baleh Hydroelectric Project (HEP) achieve a significant safety milestone of four million man-hours without Lost Time Injury (LTI).

Remarking on the achievement, Group Chief Executive Officer Datu Haji Sharbini Suhaili said,” Safety is the top priority for Sarawak Energy. To ensure everyone can go home safely, we require full safety compliance from our staff as well as contractors working on our projects or have been engaged as part of our operations with our Life Saving Rules as well as the COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedures.

“The most significant of efforts undertaken by the Baleh Project team and contractors in this past year has been the management of the COVID-19 situation since it was first reported in January 2020. With the special approval of the State leadership, we were able to continue works at the Baleh site under a controlled environment while ensuring the health and safety of staff, contractors and nearby communities,” he continued.

“On behalf of the Sarawak Energy leadership team, I would like to convey my appreciation to the Baleh Project team and our contractors for this major safety milestone and urge all to emulate this and maintain focus of safety,” said Sharbini.

The milestone was recently commemorated at the launch of the Baleh HEP Health, Safety, Security and Environment (HSSE) Week themed “Embracing HSSE Culture: Assess, Comply and Empower” at the project site.

The Baleh Project team and contractors converged at site to strengthen their commitment on health, safety and environment towards achieving zero Lost Time Injury and zero workplace fatalities.

HSSE Week is an annual platform to demonstrate and reinforce Sarawak Energy’s commitment to creating a safe work environment by inculcating a strong site safety culture amongst its staff and contractors.

Officiating at the event, Ir Pramod Kumar Karunakaran, Executive Vice President for Project Delivery asserted that health, safety and environment are of critical importance as Sarawak Energy worked towards meeting the energy demand for Sarawak and beyond amidst the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are pleased to be able to come to the Baleh site to recognise and appreciate your efforts for this highly commendable achievement. This past year has seen us reach a critical stage of the Baleh HEP river diversion tunnels construction peaking with over 700 people working on site. Despite the various challenges, we maintained our focus on the stringent adherence to health, safety and environment requirements and were able to clock 4million safe man-hours without lost time injury as of August 2020,” he said.

“We are pleased to report that more than a million-man hours of work was carried out without any COVID-19 cases. This was achieved through strict adherence to Government SOP and special measures taken to control ingress and egress of personnel to and from the project site and including the establishment of site quarantine facilities,” Pramod explained.

Pramod also gave a brief outline on the initiatives undertaken by the Baleh team to enhance the effectiveness of health, safety and environment management at the project site, besides sharing on the challenges faced by the project team and actions implemented to overcome them.

Commenting on stepping up safety efforts at Baleh project site, Pramod said, “We have increased the number of our HSSE personnel to improve Health, Safety and Environment surveillance at the project site. We have also leveraged on technology by utilising an in-house developed Unsafe Act Unsafe Condition (UAUC) mobile application to increase the efficiency of tracking, monitoring and closure of unsafe acts and unsafe conditions at the project site.

“Besides our internal HSSE programme, we are also collaborating with the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) to ensure competency of all workers,” he added.

The Baleh HEP Project has thus far maintained zero-fatality rate and zero COVID-19 case. The team has been collaborating with the Kapit Divisional Health Office to implement proactive measures for combating infectious diseases such as malaria and dengue amongst others. Residual spraying on site facilities, testing workers’ blood samples and other preventive measures are being conducted regularly.

Also present at the event were James Ung, CEO of SEB Power, Sarawak Energy’s generation arm; Marconi Madai, Vice President for Health, Safety, Security and Environment; Nooruddin Abdullah, Senior Vice President for Legal and Enterprise Risk and other members of the senior management team.

Speaking at the event, Marconi emphasised the importance of embracing a workplace safety culture and highlighted three core behaviours of Assess, Comply and Empower or ACE as part of Sarawak Energy HSE.

He further explained that, “Assess refers to analysing all potential hazards to mitigate risks; Comply means adhering to laws, standards and procedures; Empower calls for staff to intervene and stop work in the event of any unsafe acts or unsafe conditions.”

“In pursuing HSSE Excellence, it requires the commitment of everyone to embrace a culture of discipline implementation of HSSE procedures and guidelines in our daily work environment” he said.

James also commended the team at Baleh for their commitment towards health, safety and environment.

“Well done to the Baleh HEP Project Management Team and Contractors for the safe execution of the project. Safety is our top priority and it concerns everyone. Let’s continue to build and uphold a strong safety culture and embed it in all our processes and actions,” he urged.

Datu Haji Sharbini Suhaili, Group Chief Executive Officer at Baleh project site during a work visit last July. Also in the picture are Ir Pramod Kumar Karunakaran, Executive Vice President for Project Delivery (right) and Tan Hang Kiak, General Manager for Baleh HEP (left).

At the launch of Baleh HEP HSSE Week.

Ir Pramod Kumar Karunakaran, Executive Vice President for Project Delivery officiated at the HSSE Week launch, celebrating Baleh HEP’s four million safe man-hours without lost time injury.

James Ung, CEO of SEB Power (second right) presenting a token of appreciation to one of the contractors, together with Ir Pramod Kumar Karunakaran, Executive Vice President for Project Delivery (right); Marconi Madai, Vice President for Health, Safety, Security and Environment (third left); Nooruddin Abdullah, Senior Vice President for Legal and Enterprise Risk (second left) and Tan Hang Kiak, General Manager for Baleh HEP (left).

All staff and contractors adhering to strict COVID-19 safety measures at the project site.