Sam Tan highlights safe practices on worksite visit

Mr Tan inspected machinery operations and safety features during his visit to the Coco Palms condo construction site yesterday.
Mr Tan inspected machinery operations and safety features during his visit to the Coco Palms condo construction site yesterday.ST PHOTO: BENJAMIN TAN

Workplace injuries at construction sites often happen as a result of traffic accidents, falls from height and crane mishaps.

Minister of State for Manpower Sam Tan visited a Pasir Ris construction site yesterday to highlight safe workplace practices .

He inspected machinery operations and safety features during his visit to the Coco Palms condominium construction site developed by City Developments and construction firm Woh Hup.

Among the safety features are construction barricades that are 1.5m high - above the legal requirement of 1.1m - to prevent falls from tall structures.

Last year, there were 66 workplace fatalities, mostly in the construction, marine and manufacturing sectors. Nine workplace deaths occurred in the first month of this year alone.

To prevent overcrowding and accidents, some building modules are assembled off-site so that fewer workers are needed on location.

Construction workers are also given personal water bottles and "water parades" - similar to those in military training where soldiers are told to drink lots of water - are also conducted. This is important given that temperatures between 33 and 34 deg C are predicted this month.

"When the workers see that senior management takes up the serious commitment to ensure workplace safety and health measures, then they will also take it very seriously," said Mr Tan. "It is their right to work in a safe workplace. It is our duty and responsibility to make sure that the workplace is safe."

He added: "One life lost is just one too many."

Benjamin Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 18, 2016, with the headline 'Sam Tan highlights safe practices on worksite visit'. Print Edition | Subscribe