Safety timeout extended for firms in high-risk sectors

Companies in high-risk sectors will get more time to review their safety procedures with the extension of a safety timeout to Sept 30.

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) had previously mandated a safety timeout for these companies from Sept 1 to 15.

They now have the new deadline to complete a list of safety timeout activities as part of enhanced workplace safety requirements imposed by MOM.

This affects all companies in the construction, manufacturing, marine, process, and transport and storage industries, as well as those in other industries that use heavy or industrial vehicles such as lorries and forklifts.

MOM has mandated a six-month heightened safety period for companies amid a rise in work-related deaths and injuries here.

In a statement on Wednesday, it said: "MOM and the Workplace Safety and Health Council have received feedback that industries are supportive of the heightened safety measures but would require more time to comply with the mandatory safety timeout, to carry out a thorough review of their safety procedures."

Hence, the deadline for completing the safety timeout activities will be extended to Sept 30, after which MOM will conduct compliance checks and take debarment action against companies that have not completed them.

The ministry declined to say how many companies have conducted the safety timeout so far.

These changes come as work-related deaths and injuries have been on the rise. There have been 37 workplace fatalities so far in 2022, the same as for the whole of 2021.

In May, companies here were urged to take a safety timeout following 10 fatal workplace accidents in April, but this was done on a voluntary basis.

"Safety is our priority and MOM will partner the industries to build safer workplaces," it said.

The safety timeout checklist can be found at go.gov.sg/stochecklist

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 23, 2022, with the headline Safety timeout extended for firms in high-risk sectors. Subscribe