Tan implores employers to improve workplace safety

MOM minister warns of 'stronger enforcement actions' against workplaces with poor health and safety standards

Tan implores employers to improve workplace safety

Manpower Minister Tan See Leng has renewed his call to employers to improve safety measures in the workplace amid a "worrying spike" of fatalities this year.

"I urge employers, supervisors, and individual workers, to join us and play your part in improving workplace safety and health in Singapore," the minister said during The Singapore Contractors Association Ltd's annual Safety and Health Campaign.

According to the official, the Ministry of Manpower is taking on stronger enforcement actions and is working with the industry to uplift safety standards and beef up workplace safety ownership.

Tan then outlined in his statement three actions eyed by the government, with the first being the development of a "harmonised set of criteria" that will disqualify contractors with poor work practices from construction tenders of the public sector.

"This means that unsafe firms could be disqualified from government contracts, or will have a tougher time getting foreign manpower," he said.

The second action, according to Tan, is the consideration of institutionalising pre-start assessments to identify potentially hazardous work conditions.

"This could take the form of weekly site coordination meetings and daily toolbox meetings by the various work teams," he explained.

The third step involves the call to deploy more workplace safety and health personnel, including auditors, officers, and coordinators.

"We are also considering requiring CCTVs or other means of surveillance to be installed on site at high-risk locations, to enable employers to monitor the safety condition at workplaces more closely," he said in his statement.

Read more: Singapore workplace safety a “significant risk” over next 12 months – report

He made the remarks amid a "worrying spike" of workplace fatalities in 2022, which he condemned as "troubling and unacceptable."

"There has been a worrying spike in workplace fatalities this year. Yesterday, there was yet another life lost to a workplace accident. This is troubling and unacceptable," Tan said. "We must do our best to promote workplace safety and health so that our workers can return home safely to their loved ones."

Previously, MOM said that it has been imposing "higher composition fines" against employers who ranked poor in safety and health performance.

It has also carried out 3,300 enforcement actions, including fines and Stop-Work Orders, during its inspections across workplaces - a 33% increase compared to the same period last year.

 

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