In related to recent accident that leads to worker’s death at a Pan-Island Expressway (PIE) work site in Upper Changi Road East last Friday, Minister of State for Manpower (MOM) Sam Tan had found more than 400 safety violations at work sites last month.
In his speech during Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) forum on Monday, Mr Tan revealed that based on inspections conducted at 400 sites which involve work-at-height activities, more than 400 safety violations were netted. Of the findings, the authorities allotted 322 notices of non-compliance and 70 composition fines. Additionally, MOM also issued four stop-work orders in which three of them were given due to safety infractions.
Mr Tan stated that MOM is committed to take strict and make serious action for companies who are caught ignoring worksite safety and impose them with severe penalties for making violations. Violation of workplace safety could lead to lethal and harmful injuries to the worker, continued the minister.
On Monday, Mr Tan sends deep condolences regarding to viaduct collapse that resulted in 1 worker died and 10 others injured. To take the case for further examination, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and relevant authorities have commenced an investigation into the cause, as well as issuing a stop-work order.
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Speaking in front of about 90 participants who were mainly bosses from construction firms at the forum, Mr Tan emphasised the importance of work safety. Conducted in Mandarin at the Devan Nair Institute for Employment and Employability, the lunchtime forum is the first one to reach out to Mandarin-speaking senior management of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the construction industry to educate them on the importance of safety for work at heights.
In 2016, falls from height were reportedly responsible for most deaths at workplaces. It is noted that there were 13 fall from height incidents last year, compared to 24 in 2009. Within the construction sector, six workers were killed last year after falling from heights.
Owing to which, this was one of three priority areas under this year’s Programme-based Engagement Plus programme, which aims to raise WSH competencies and awareness by engaging the industries involved. The other two priority areas under the programme are accidents leading to amputations and traffic accidents, Straits Times reports.
Mr Tan underlined that falls-related workplace incidents can be prevented if the company is paying attention to their work-at-height safety. Therefore, there needs to be initiatives that aim to educate and guide construction firms in adopting safe practices, such as the expansion of the Mobile Work at Heights Programme. In this program, the Ministry visits worksite to share about work safety.
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