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Recent spate of fatal workplace accidents could have been avoided: Tan Chuan Jin

Published on Jan 29, 2014 3:28 PM
 
Less than a month into the new year, eight workers have already lost their lives in workplace accidents, a statistic that Acting Minister for Manpower Tan Chuan-Jin said "is not tenable". -- FILE PHOTO: ARTHUR LEE CH

Less than a month into the new year, eight workers have already lost their lives in workplace accidents, a statistic that Acting Minister for Manpower Tan Chuan-Jin said "is not tenable".

In a blog post on Wednesday, Mr Tan said discussions with the Occupational Safety and Health Division (OSHD) led him to find that each of those accidents could have been avoided. They had also occurred despite measures taken to step up workplace inspections.

In the past week, the OSHD has conducted 42 inspections of formwork structures, and four have resulted in Stop-Work Orders that require occupiers to rectify safety lapses before resuming work. But that did not stop the fatalities from happening, the last of which occurred on Tuesday.

Mr Tan said he has asked the OSHD to undertake thorough investigations to identify the circumstances that led to this year's accidents and recommend ways to prevent recurrences. He added: "We will not hesitate to take action against parties responsible for the lapses."