Responsibility for workplace safety lies with management

The failure to apply vital safety measures led to the tragic death of two SMRT staff ("Safety lapses cause of fatal accident: SMRT"; yesterday).

Every life lost in a workplace accident is a tragedy beyond measure and everything must be done to prevent such accidents.

The safety of workers is paramount. The responsibility lies squarely on the shoulders of the management.

In a good safety management system, mechanisms put in place to ensure the safety of personnel must be such that if these were to fail, there should be a fail-safe, without any worker being in danger.

Also, the system must be regularly audited to ensure that all the components of the safety system are in place.

In instances where human error is involved, this is indicative that complacency has set in.

Complacency is like cancer to the system, giving indications that the overall safety culture in the establishment needs to be reviewed and even reformed.

The National Safety Council of Singapore (NSCS) is glad that SMRT is doing a thorough and comprehensive review of all its safety structures and processes.

We commend SMRT. We, at the NSCS, call upon the management of SMRT to be open and transparent about the changes the company has instituted to ensure that there is no repeat of the accident.

Ameerali Abdeali


National Safety Council of Singapore

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 27, 2016, with the headline 'Responsibility for workplace safety lies with management'. Print Edition | Subscribe