Forum: Companies need to take workplace safety standards more seriously to prevent deaths

One death at the workplace is one too many (Bangladeshi worker dies in accident at LTA construction site, Dec 16).

Five workplace deaths in a span of two weeks between late last month and early this month, as indicated in the article, is unthinkable.

I once worked with a large and reputable construction company that prided itself on its safety standards, claiming safety awards, mostly gold, year after year. The walls in its office were lined with these awards.

The company's safety officers took their job very seriously and were constantly on the move. Safety at such a workplace was more than just wearing safety boots, a reflective vest, a helmet and a safety belt.

Having been well equipped for the work at hand, the officers had to ensure that the labourers were well prepared, mentally and physically, for the job.

After every death, the labour movement will urge all companies to prioritise and safeguard the safety of their workers. Are there no other more meaningful ways to urge the companies to comply with established codes and stop such preventable, tragic loss of lives?

They should be given a hefty penalty and barred from further tenders for a certain period for just a single death recorded at their worksites.

Let all our foreign construction workers work and enjoy life here, and be able to return home safely to their families.

Neo Poh Goon

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