Parliament: Decline in number of drivers, riders killed in work-related traffic accidents in 2016

Two men, part of a 15-member team sent to investigate a possible fault on the track, were killed by an oncoming train near the Pasir Ris station in March 2016.
Two men, part of a 15-member team sent to investigate a possible fault on the track, were killed by an oncoming train near the Pasir Ris station in March 2016. PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

SINGAPORE - The number of drivers and riders killed in work-related traffic accidents declined from 14 in 2013 to just five in 2016, Minister of State for Manpower Sam Tan told Parliament on Monday (May 8).

He added that Workplace Traffic Safety Management Guidelines, issued by the Workplace Safety and Health Council, include recommendations on preventing driver fatigue such as limiting shift work to no more than 12 hours and encouraging drivers to take short, scheduled breaks.

"Failure to comply with these guidelines can be used as an aggravating factor against employers in court in the event of accidents and injuries," said Mr Tan.

He was replying to Ms Joan Pereira (Tanjong Pagar GRC), who asked whether the Manpower Ministry would consider mandating the hours of work and rest for drivers, in line with recommendations by the International Labour Organisation.

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He also noted that six "very in depth" inspections on MRT track operations were conducted last year.

While the focus was previously on other aspects of train operations, he said inspections on track operations - previously found to be "quite safe" - were stepped up following an accident in March 2016 which took the lives of SMRT trainees 24-year-old Muhammad Hatin Kamil and 26-year-old Nasrulhudin Najumudin.

The two men - part of a 15-member team sent to investigate a possible fault on the track - were killed by an oncoming train near the Pasir Ris station.

The Ministry of Manpower uncovered several "unauthorised evasions of safety procedures" during these inspections, said Mr Tan, in response to questions from Non-Constituency MP Dennis Tan.

"All these additional inspections, we believe, will help to increase the safety standards in MRT operations."