Multi-pronged effort to improve safety at construction work sites in view of spike in workplace deaths: Manpower Ministry

MOM personnel conducting a worksite safety inspection on May 12, 2016.
MOM personnel conducting a worksite safety inspection on May 12, 2016.PHOTO: ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - Companies, industry associations and government agencies will be taking steps to improve safety at construction work sites in response to the rising number of workplace deaths, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said.

"Concerted and urgent actions" are needed to improve workplace safety in construction, the Ministry said in a statement on Saturday (May 28).

Three more workers died in accidents between last Thursday and Tuesday, bringing the total number of fatalities in the construction sector to 15 this year.

 
 

In the latest incident, a worker fell 13 floors while climbing down from a scaffold on Tuesday. Earlier, two other workers died in separate incidents after being pinned by a steel truss, and being struck by a forklift.

MOM has introduced tougher penalties on May 12, and will be rolling out programmes to raise awareness and improve safety training in the industry, it said.

The Singapore Contractors Association Ltd will launch a "Construction Safety Promotion Month" in June.

As part of the campaign, CEOs of member companies in the association will personally conduct site safety awareness activities at work sites under their charge.

The Singapore Institution of Safety Officers (SISO) will promptly communicate the learning points from fatal accidents to the workers through its network of members.

A set of safety induction training materials for construction workers will also be released by the next quarter, MOM said.

Mr Bernard Soh, president of SISO, said that everyone, from business owners to supervisors to workers should take responsibility for a safer workplace.

"Everyone must collectively work towards achieving the goal of zero fatality," he said.

Mr Sam Tan, Minister of State for Manpower said, "We must all embrace the belief that every worker has the right to go home unharmed every day, and that all harm is preventable... We need the support from employers, industry associations and workers to prevent the next workplace fatality."