MOM site makes it easier to access safety records of building firms

Data on information like stop-work orders and fatalities will be updated every fortnight

Senior Minister of State for Manpower Zaqy Mohamad (front, second from left), together with safety inspectors from the Ministry of Manpower's occupational safety and health division, inspecting the worksite of Affinity at Serangoon condominium yester
Senior Minister of State for Manpower Zaqy Mohamad (front, second from left), together with safety inspectors from the Ministry of Manpower's occupational safety and health division, inspecting the worksite of Affinity at Serangoon condominium yesterday. ST PHOTO: GIN TAY
Senior Minister of State for Manpower Zaqy Mohamad (front, second from left), together with safety inspectors from the Ministry of Manpower's occupational safety and health division, inspecting the worksite of Affinity at Serangoon condominium yester
The CheckSafe E-Service screen on an iPad yesterday.ST PHOTO: GIN TAY

Construction firms' safety track records are now more easily accessible, with statistics on information like fatalities and stop-work orders consolidated for easy comparison.

The data on the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) website will also be updated every fortnight.

Senior Minister of State for Manpower Zaqy Mohamad gave the update after observing a worksite inspection yesterday.

The records, uploaded to a new platform called CheckSafe, will also show if a firm is in the Business Under Surveillance programme or has been convicted of workplace safety and health violations.

This allows industry players and the public to compare such records and make selections of contractors based on them, MOM said.

While such information was available previously on MOM's site, users had to download separate PDF files, each documenting one statistic. The files were also not updated in sync, with changes made between once every two weeks and once per quarter.

Since yesterday, multiple statistics could be seen together on CheckSafe.

Records displayed on the platform date back three years - with the exception of fatalities, which are listed for a year - in the hopes that firms will improve their safety standards and not be faulted for past incidents over the long term.

More industries beyond construction will be added progressively.

Yesterday's inspection that Mr Zaqy joined was one of about 400 in Operation Robin, which began following a spate of workplace deaths late last year.

The operation, which began on Dec 10, will run till Feb 15 and targets high-risk sectors like construction, manufacturing and marine.

Mr Zaqy said the recent emphasis on site inspections is in tandem with the resumption of work in high-risk sectors in the last quarter of last year, where workplace injuries reported were similar to the same period in 2019.

"This (safety inspections) is something we are committed to... especially since businesses have reopened post-circuit breaker and post-phase two," he said.

"It's important that we continue to be vigilant, because we also notice certain trends, where businesses rush works in order to catch up on schedule," he added.

So far, about 450 contraventions have been found during Operation Robin, and four stop-work orders issued, including one to worksite Affinity at Serangoon condominium, which was inspected yesterday. The condo is being built by L. S. Construction.

The contraventions included work-at-height issues and commencing excavation works without adequate safety measures.

The records, uploaded to a platform called CheckSafe, will... show if a firm is in the Business Under Surveillance programme or has been convicted of workplace safety and health violations... While such information was available previously on MOM's site, users had to download separate PDF files, each documenting one statistic... Since yesterday, multiple statistics could be seen together on CheckSafe.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 22, 2021, with the headline 'MOM site makes it easier to access safety records of building firms'. Subscribe