Up to workers to follow safety rules

The report on injuries in the workplace ("Workplace injuries on the rise"; Feb 15) painted a very sombre picture of the deaths and injuries suffered by foreign workers in our country.

Sixty-six deaths were recorded both last year and the year before. This is about five every month, or one every week.

How can this be, since we have a very strict and regimented safety regime in our workplaces? What went wrong?

Was there a communication breakdown and the workers merely nodded their heads despite not understanding the safety briefings before they commenced work?

I have worked at construction sites for about 10 years, and am in charge of security at sites, with my colleagues taking charge of safety.

I have noticed that some foreign workers are averse to following rules and regulations at the work site.

These workers break all sorts of rules.

They buy illegal cigarettes, cook, ferment rice wine, gamble and urinate at the site.

They fight and engage in petty theft at the site, and do not wear their security passes or safety belts/harnesses.

When reprimanded, they can be rebellious and stage protests.

I do not think we are lacking in our supervision and enforcement of safety rules.

But our security and safety officers can only do so much.

It is up to workers to follow the rules or add to the injury and death statistics.

Neo Poh Goon

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 17, 2017, with the headline 'Up to workers to follow safety rules'. Print Edition | Subscribe