17 unregistered workshops found with violation

Lyna Mohamad

Seventeen workshops in the Brunei-Muara District were found to be operating without proper accreditation, during four joint operations conducted by the Land Transport Department (JPD) on September 28 and 30, and on October 6 and 8.

Joining the operations were the Weights and Measures Unit of the Ministry of Finance and Economy (MoFE), the Fire and Rescue Department (FRD), the Municipal Department and the Brunei-Muara District Office under the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA), the Authority for Building Control and Construction Industry (ABCi), the Department of Town and Country Planning and Environment, Parks and Recreation (JASTRe) of the Ministry of Development.

Safety, Health and Environment National Authority (SHENA) and the Environmental Health Services of the Ministry of Health were also involved.

The inspections were conducted as a follow-up to the press conference on October 5 regarding measures taken by the Ministry of Transport and Infocommunications (MTIC) following several incidents of car fire.

Apart from failing to register with the JPD and lacking proper accreditation, the inspections found 21 other offences, which include failure to produce supporting documents; abandoned vehicles found on the premises; conducting engine and body modifications and repairs with an undetermined level of expertise; no standards or accreditation in terms of safety, health and environment; the unorganised and unhygienic state of the premises and building; the indiscriminate disposal of oil or spare parts; wiring and electrical works performed with an undetermined level of expertise; recruitment of workers with ill-defined expertise; more foreigners being employed than locals; use of equipment which was not inspected in terms of level of safety and suitability; no personal protective equipment (PPE) in accordance with work activities; lack of suitable chemical storage (hazardous materials) and tools/utensils; non-operational and obstructed warning devices such as break glass/alarms; expired fire extinguishers; the uncertainty of the calibration for the relevant equipment in accordance with the regulations of the Measurement and Weights Unit; storage areas not made with fireproof materials; unauthorised renovations of the building such as an additional office/residence on the mezzanine or first floor; construction of accommodation infrastructure with flammable material such as plywood; unsatisfactory housekeeping standards and improper way of storing used oil cans.

One of the workshops inspected during the operation. PHOTO: JPD

Based on an initial assessment in accordance with the JPD Workshop Accreditation Scheme, none of the 17 workshops inspected to date meets the criteria for Class A. Meanwhile, two fulfil the criteria for Workshop Class B assessment and 13 are considered for the Workshop Class C accreditation.

Meanwhile, compound fines were issued to seven workshops under the Minor Offences Act, Chapter 30 Section 12(1), for violations in terms of hygiene for buildings and premises.

Syarikat Perniagaan 88 Autoworks was issued a compound fine of BND200, while Sing Hiap Hin Motor Company, Vijaya Jaya Sdn Bhd, Mohd Nabil Enterprise, Goodyek Sdn Bhd, Vaithi Automobile Services Sdn Bhd and Lap Sing Auto Servicing were each given a compound fine of BND500.

Investigations and analysis of the gathered information are being carried out by JPD and other agencies. Written warnings were also issued by the agencies where the workshop owners have been given a grace period to form remedial action plans.

JPD and the agencies will conduct follow-up inspections to ensure that appropriate actions have been undertaken by the workshop owners. JPD urged owners of unauthorised workshops to register as soon as possible.

The department will evaluate and give accreditations to the workshops under the JPD Workshop Accreditation Scheme, based on the capability levels and types of services.
The public is advised to send their vehicles for maintenance and repair at workshops accredited by JPD. A list of the accredited workshops can be viewed at www.jpd.gov.bn.

The list is divided into class A for Main Repair and Maintenance; Vehicle Bodywork and Maintenance Services; Class B for Body Works, Service and Maintenance; and Class C for Service and Maintenance.