Singapore raises maximum fine for WSH breaches to $50,000

Government also mandating construction worksites to install video surveillance systems

Singapore raises maximum fine for WSH breaches to $50,000

Singapore is increasing to $50,000 the maximum fines for offences under the Workplace Safety and Health Act Subsidiary Legislation to pin more accountability on business leaders for WSH breaches.

Starting June 1, WSH offences that are major causes of serious harm, such as death or serious bodily injury, in the workplace could lead to fines of $50,000.

According to the Ministry of Manpower, such offences include failure to:

  • Ensure primary and direct measures, systems, and plans to ensure workers' safety and health are in place
  • Conduct Risk Assessment
  • Appoint competent personnel to perform critical duties and for these personnel to perform their duties
  • Ensure employees are adequately trained provide suitable Personal Protective Equipment or facilities or personnel to ensure safety and prevent an incident from escalating and resulting in serious harm
  • Inspect, maintain, or repair equipment, where such inspections or maintenance are critical to detect or prevent failures or defects that can cause serious harm
  • Provide warning notice of hazards which has the potential to cause or result in serious harm

Offences that are not a major cause but contribute to serious harm could lead to a $20,000 fine, according to MOM, while less serious offences that are procedural or administrative in nature could lead to fines worth $10,000 or less.

"The increase in maximum fines is a proactive step towards strengthening ownership and accountability of WSH, particularly among senior company leadership who are responsible for shaping the safety culture at the workplace," MOM said in a statement.

Video surveillance system installation

Meanwhile, the Singapore government is also mandating construction employers with a contract sum of $5 million and above to install a video surveillance system (VSS) in their worksites starting June.

"By enabling remote monitoring and video capture, the VSS acts as a deterrent for unsafe workplace behaviours, provides valuable training resources for companies, and offers insights for investigations of safety incidents and near-misses," MOM said.

According to the ministry, the new measures seek to maintain Singapore's recent record lows for workplace fatal and major injury rates.

The construction sector, despite seeing a decline in fatal and major injury rates, remain among the high-risk industries for such incidents.

Source: Ministry of Manpower

MOM said installing VSS in construction worksites will foster a "proactive approach to WSH management and promote a culture of incident prevention in workplaces."

"WSH is a collective responsibility, and all stakeholders must continue playing an active role in building a culture of WSH excellence in Singapore for workers and workplaces to thrive," MOM said.

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