Worksites should have safe rest areas for workers

We thank Mr Chua Tiong Guan for his feedback ("Build proper rest facilities near worksites"; Nov 5).

Mr Chua suggested that rest facilities be provided outside a worksite.

Preliminary findings from the investigation into the Nov 3 accident at the Thomson-East Coast Line Mandai Depot construction site revealed that the two workers who died after they were run over by a reversing tipper truck had been resting outside the designated rest area located in the worksite.

There is no need to have rest areas outside the worksite if their locations are properly considered during the planning stages of construction works.

Many contractors provide safe and proper rest areas, canteens, and other facilities for their workers within worksites.

Workers would find it inconvenient if these facilities were located away from the construction site.

Employers and contractors are reminded to take responsibility in providing safe and proper rest areas for workers.

Rest areas should be sited in a safe location away from areas where works are in progress. They should be cordoned off and properly segregated from adjacent works or travel paths of vehicles and heavy machinery.

Contractors also need to put in place proper on-site traffic management plans so that vehicles and workers can move around safely.

For more information, including on best practices, contractors can download the Workplace Safety and Health Council guidelines on the provision of rest facilities at www.wshc.sg

Chan Yew Kwong

Director

Occupational Safety and Health Inspectorate Department

Ministry of Manpower

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 22, 2016, with the headline 'Worksites should have safe rest areas for workers'. Print Edition | Subscribe