MOM steps up inspections on crane and lifting operations islandwide

SINGAPORE - The Manpower Ministry (MOM) is carrying out an enforcement blitz on crane and lifting operations across the island for around two weeks ending late this month.

This is to ensure contractors remain vigilant, after seven accidents involving crane and lifting operations since the start of the year, said the ministry on Wednesday.

Six of these accidents took place within the span of two weeks at the end of last month and start of this month. These include a tower crane toppling at a Potong Pasir site in February, crashing into the front yard of a nearby house, and a mobile crane toppling over in Jurong.

There were no serious injuries or deaths as a result of the accidents, but MOM's Occupational Safety and Health Inspectorate director Chan Yew Kwong called the spate of accidents "totally unacceptable".

"Our preliminary findings indicated that many of these cases could have been prevented if there were proper implementation of lifting plans and regular functionality checks on cranes' safety devices to ensure that they are in good working condition," he said in a statement.

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