Urgent steps taken to boost worksite safety

Companies, industry associations and government agencies are taking steps to improve construction site safety in response to the rising number of workplace deaths.

"Concerted and urgent actions" are needed to improve workplace safety in construction, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said in a statement yesterday.

Three workers died in accidents between May 19 and May 24, bringing the total number of fatalities in the construction sector to 15 this year. There were eight in the same period last year.

One worker died after being pinned by a steel truss while another was struck by a forklift truck. In Tuesday's incident, a worker fell 13 floors from a scaffold.

The MOM introduced tougher penalties on May 12, and will launch programmes to raise awareness and improve safety training in the industry. The Singapore Contractors Association will also launch the Construction Safety Promotion Month in June.

As part of the campaign, bosses of member companies will personally conduct site safety awareness activities at their worksites.

Meanwhile, the Singapore Institution of Safety Officers (SISO) has promised to promptly communicate the learning points from fatal accidents through its members.

A set of safety induction training materials for construction workers will also be released by the next quarter, MOM said.

SISO president Bernard Soh said:"Everyone must collectively work towards achieving the goal of zero fatalities."

Mr Sam Tan, Minister of State for Manpower, said: "We must all embrace the belief that every worker has the right to go home unharmed every day, and that all harm is preventable. We need the support from employers, industry associations and workers to prevent the next workplace fatality."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on May 29, 2016, with the headline 'Urgent steps taken to boost worksite safety'. Print Edition | Subscribe