Technical Instruction on Building Maintenance in the Workplace: Lack of Language Proficiency, More Harm than Good?
The building maintenance (BM) sector is a very essential and an integral part of urban infrastructure development which gives tremendous boost to our country’s economy. The BM industry has been known to be one of the hazardous activities within the industry. This activity must be well clearly defined to the workers by the BM site supervisors. The BM principles are implemented to minimize the environmental impact. It is also to upgrade the performance of an existing building to meet new requirements. Theoretically, building project’s performance has a direct bearing related to its potential for project success. However, in BM building projects, the criteria for measurement are wider due to the nature of it being more complex and multi-dimensional.This encompasses many factors to reflect the nature of work. The lack of language proficiency is a problematic issue among BM workers and is not a new issue in the BM industry. The study, therefore, examined the attentiveness of BM supervisors in maintenance industry based on their approach instructions during supervisions on maintenance sites. This case study research utilized semi-structured interviews, observations, and examined existing documents. Interviews conducted with BM supervisors in areas of technical site maintenance showed that lack of English language proficiency, both verbally and written, exists among BM workers, especially those who have just arrived and worked in the BM industry in Malaysia.