Singapore safety blitz hits hundreds of firms

Manpower ministry puts company leaders on notice for future safety violations

Singapore safety blitz hits hundreds of firms

A safety enforcement blitz targeting Singapore companies in construction, manufacturing, accommodation, food service and transportation and storage has resulted in penalties against 558 firms.

The nine-week enforcement operation was conducted by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) between mid-August and mid-October. Amongst enforcement actions taken were 12 stop-work orders and 232 composition fines amounting to $499,150.

The MOM said the operation was aimed at reducing slips, trips, and falls (STF) in the workplace, the leading cause of major injuries in the first half of 2022.

Read more: Construction worker buried in fatal accident

In a Facebook post, the MOM listed some of the most common STF-related contraventions:

  • STF hazards were not identified during risk assessments, therefore, no corrective action was taken
  • Control measures were not implemented for poorly maintained flooring (e.g., missing floor tiles, wet surfaces) and poor housekeeping
  • Workers wore inadequate footwear, which did not protect enough against STF accidents

In the post, Zaqy Mohamad, senior minister of state for manpower, said: “The common contraventions of STF requires attention to the safety of workers and very basic mitigations. There is no excuse for such ignorance. Not only does this show a lack of workplace safety and health culture, but a poor attitude to prioritise safety at the workplace. Often firms that have poor attitudes have been found to have systemic lapses in safety measures.”

Read more: Construction firm fined $156,000 for labour rights violations

The post continued to send a warning to organisations from the MOM: “We will continue to take appropriate action for such contraventions. Company leaders, supervisors and workers must never compromise on safety practices – we have put everyone on notice, and we expect all parties to keep their eyes on the ball."

The post was accompanied by images of some of the worst offenders – completely littered with obstructions in site entrances and restaurant hallways, ice forming on freezer floors and unattended leaking water pipes. It attracted almost 400 likes and people commented that more inspection was needed.

During the operation, more than 750 inspections were carried out and a total of 1,828 enforcement actions were taken against 558 companies.

The MOM has been putting the spotlight on safety in the construction industry this year. There were 28 workplace fatalities in the first half of 2022, and 10 of them happened in the construction sector.

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