MOM announces new workplace safety initiatives

The government has laid out new safety strategies for one major industry, urging employers to work together and reduce staff risk

After a recent spate of crane accidents, the Ministry of Manpower has announced a two-pronged strategy to boost safety in construction yards. Crane operators wills be required to conduct an added health check plus a compulsory training course.
From 1 April 2016, crane operators aged 50 years and above will have to undergo a health test. Those who are 70 years old or more will be required to take a further medical examination.
Sam Tan, Minister of State for MOM mentioned this new initiative in a speech at the Crane Safety Symposium 2015 yesterday (7 October).
“The earlier health checks will improve the employability of crane operators by enabling crane operators to identify early signs of ill health so that we can manage the conditions early. This also helps to prevent future health risks and crane operators can remain in the profession longer.”
Since operators have direct control over the crane movements, these extra checks will ensure added safety and eliminate the risks of any unforeseen impairments an individual may have. Employers will have these checks as an additional safeguard against accidents in the workplace.
MOM also announced a specialised training course for mini crane operators which will commence in the first quarter of 2016.
This course will be recognised by the Commissioner for Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) and will replace the need for a license from 1 January 2016. Those who currently have a license can continue to use it while new operators will be required to attend the course instead.

“The course will enable mini crane operators to receive specific training and raise their competency in operating mini cranes safely and efficiently,” Tan said at the symposium.
Tan also urged businesses in the construction sector to cooperate and improve overall safety levels in the workplace.
“[These] plans will be futile without a firm commitment to improve and a collective action from all parties. In line with this year’s National WSH Campaign, ‘I can prevent all injuries and be healthy at work,’ we can start with a mindset that all injuries and ill health at work can be prevented.”
Related stories:
How safe are Singapore’s workplaces?
Worker dies from falling concrete
Crane accidents “unacceptable”: MOM takes action

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