SINGAPORE — Following a spike in workplace accidents in the second half of last year, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) will tighten conditions for lifting of a Stop Work Order (SWO) to ensure that firms resolve safety lapses, said Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Manpower Hawazi Daipi in Parliament today (Feb 17).
New conditions for lifting the SWO may include the conduct of refresher training on key areas of weaknesses, as well as a re-audit of the Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) management system, said Mr Hawazi.
The Demerit Points System, started in 2000 to identify contractors with poor work practices and restrict their access to foreign labour if they fail to improve their safety records, will be reviewed and strengthened by the Ministry, he said.
Mr Hawazi was replying to Members of Parliament (MPs) Foo Mee Har and Associate Professor Eugene Tan, who raised concerns over workplace accidents. Both MPs also queried on any existing plans by MOM to enhance workplace safety and health standards.
In his Parliamentary reply, Mr Hawazi said that WSH performance had declined around the second half of 2013, with 22 construction workplace deaths.
“This was twice as many fatalities compared to the first half of the year, and five more compared to the same period in 2012,” he said. “This worrying trend continued into 2014, with 8 out of every 9 workplace fatalities in January coming from the construction industry alone.”
Mr Hawazi said that MOM stepped up inspections over the last two weeks of January uncovered 114 contraventions of the WSH Act at 89 construction worksites. A total of 7 Stop Work Orders, 45 Composition Fines and 69 Notices of Non-Compliance were issued.