Friday, April 8, 2011

Lynas... Have You Done Your Homework?

You, here refers to the citizens of Malaysia, the state of Pahang and the district of Kuantan. I believe some of us have read the newspapers or even watched the news (and YouTube of course) of how a concerned and spirited kindergarden teacher single-handedly lambasted "politicians" and unknowingly the state and federal government on the Lynas Advanced Material Plant (LAMP) construction in Gebeng Industrial Estate.

To tell you the truth, being a person who's working not far from the construction site finds that the issue is some-what strange and funny bundled into one. Strange because non of this was raised not until the great Sendai earthquake (knowing that LAMP was being constructed almost a year currently), and funny because some of us haven't done enough homework a.k.a. reading.

Being a civic minded person, I also believe that we have the right to a safe workplace and we also have the right to refuse an unsafe workplace. But, isn't all workplace have potentials of being unsafe and dangerous? 6 years working in a petrochemical plant seems to be a good example of how a safe workplace is being implemented. Being toxic and hazardous chemicals, dangerous working space with hot surfaces and falling objects, or non-direct affect of work and mental stress, people seems to be able to cope with these thing and yet the plant has been in operation close to 20 years. What do they have to protect the workers?

Barrier is the answer, a series and layer of protection which will prevent the hazards from affecting the workers. A simple day-to-day example is changing light bulbs. Well, I believe most of us will just climb the ladder and immediately change the bulb. But do you realize that you actually have removed all the barriers and expose yourself being electrocuted? An example of barriers in this case are i) to ensure the circuit breaker for that bulb is in opened position ii) the switch for that bulb is off position iii) to wear a protective glove before touching the bulb iv) to ensure your hand is dry before changing the bulb v) to wear an insulative footwear. Quite a long list and troublesome for people. But these barriers actually will prevent you from electrocution and hot surface burn.

So, what is the relationship with LAMP? The industry (generally) demanded these 3 things; Health, Safety and Environment. Health being the people are protected from the hazards that is being created by the industry. Safety being the industry have to introduce and implement sets of rules and regulations that will ensure the workplace is safe. Environment being the protection of living beings and nature from the hazard which is created by the industry through its processes, products and by-products as well as emissions. Let me put this in factual form;

Did you know that Thorium 232 has a half-life of 14,000,000,000 years and occur naturally 100% (not produced synthetically) and emits alpha-wave as its primary decay mode. Alpha-wave is also a type of brain waves which originated from the occipital lobe during wakeful relaxation with closed eyes.

Did you know that diagnostic X-Ray are classified as "carcinogen" by WHO. An abdominal or chest scan is equivalent to 2-3 years of background radiation increasing the lifetime cancer risk between 1:1,000 to 1:10,000, which means that roughly there's 40% chance of a person developing cancer in their lifetime.

And one more thing, Sun Tzu once said "If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the results of a hundred battles". So, my advise is to read the following report from Lynas to know more about their business.

I am not a Pakatan supporter, nor a Barisan. Just a citizen who do his homework...

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