Near miss reporting a must for construction sector

SINGAPORE - The construction industry here must develop a culture of near miss reporting, said Land Transport Authority (LTA) chairman Alan Chan on Wednesday (Sept 21).

He was speaking at the 18th Annual Safety Award Convention (ASAC) at the Singapore Polytechnic Convention Centre.

This year, close to 50 workers lost their lives due to workplace accidents, two of which occurred in LTA projects, and these fatality rates are expected to rise.

The theme for this year's convention was "Near Miss - Report It, Act On It".

A near miss is an unplanned event that did not result in any injury, illness or damage, but had the potential to do so.

"Near miss reporting should not be associated with punishment or reprimand. Instead, it is to be taken as a learning opportunity to correct substandard behaviours and practices," said Mr Chan, who is also chief executive of Singapore Press Holdings.

LTA said in a statement: "LTA hopes that through the active sharing and learning of lessons from these near misses, contractors are able to elevate their WSH (Workplace Safety and Health) standards on sites to ensure a safer and healthier worksite."

It added that LTA contractors' safety forums and the monthly project safety committee meetings were some of the platforms available for sharing these lessons.

First held in 1999, the ASAC recognises contractors who ensure high standards for the health, safety and welfare of their workers, while also taking into account the protection of the public and the environment.

This year 18 contractors were recognised for their excellent Workplace Safety and Health practices over the past year.

Winning the top prize this year was Samsung C & T Corporation for its work on Contract T213/ Thomson - East Coast Line Caldecott station, for which it also won the LTA Contractors Challenge Shield.