Manpower Ministry launches three-week enforcement operation at construction sites

The Manpower Ministry has started a three-week enforcement operation to stamp out poor workplace safety practices at construction sites. -- ST PHOTO: JAMIE KOH
The Manpower Ministry has started a three-week enforcement operation to stamp out poor workplace safety practices at construction sites. -- ST PHOTO: JAMIE KOH

SINGAPORE - The Manpower Ministry has started a three-week enforcement operation to stamp out poor workplace safety practices at construction sites.

More than 200 worksites will be checked by early February, with inspectors scrutinising areas including formwork, work-at-heights and lifting operations.

Investigations into previous accidents showed that contractors rushed work and disregarded safety procedures in January to meet deadlines before the Chinese New Year holidays.

Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin, said such habits are unacceptable, adding: "Prevention is key as no amount of investigations or penalties will bring a deceased worker back to life. Every worker is entitled to a safe workplace, and every employer and occupier is obliged to provide that."

Under the Workplace Safety and Health Act, companies that fail to take reasonable practical measures to ensure workers' health and safety can be fined up to $500,000 for a first offence.

Earlier this month, a worker died after being crushed by a formwork structure which toppled onto him. Eight workers died in construction-related accidents in January last year.

awcw@sph.com.sg