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New Factory Notification Scheme to Strengthen Risk Management Requirements through Mandatory Declaration

2 October 2008

From 1 Nov 2008, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) will make changes to the Factory Registration system. The changes will:

  1. strengthen the management of workplace risks; and
  2. create a more pro-enterprise business environment.

Nearly 14,000 registered factories with lower risk activities will immediately benefit from the changes, with annual savings of $3.5 million.

2. MOM is also planning to review the registration system for the remaining 7,000 registered factories, so that the registration requirements are commensurate with the level of risk their operations entail. As part of this review, MOM will consult the industry and other stakeholders.

Details of changes

3. Currently, the Workplace Safety & Health (Registration of Factories) Regulations requires all factories to be registered before they can commence operations. Registration is valid for up to two years. On average, a $250 annual fee is payable upon registration and renewal. The system does not differentiate lower risk factories from the rest.
Qualifying Factories: The new scheme will apply to all factories except construction worksites, shipyards, metalworking companies, wafer fabrication, petrochemical, chemical and pharmaceutical plants. Qualifying factories are factories with lower risks of fatalities and accidents (as demonstrated by safety & health statistics). They will no longer be required to pay an annual registration fee nor are they required to renew their registration. To strengthen risk management (RM) requirements,1 these factories will now be required to make a declaration that they have implemented RM at their workplaces before work can commence.

What They Will Need To Do: From 1 November 2008, qualifying factories will only be required to do two things prior to the commencement of operations:
  1. Make an online declaration that they have implemented risk management in their factories, and
  2. Notify the Commissioner for Workplace Safety and Health of their operations via the On-line Business Licensing System (OBLS) at
Notification & Refund of Factory Registration Fee: Existing qualifying factories will be notified by MOM in November 2008, providing information on how to declare that they have adopted a risk management system. Factories that have converted to the new notification scheme will receive a refund for the licence fee, pro-rated according to the remaining period of their existing factory registration.

4. For more information on the new notification scheme, please refer to the MOM website.

1 Under the Workplace Safety & Health (Risk Management) Regulations, all employers, self-employed persons and principals (including contractors and sub-contractors) are required to identify safety and health hazards at workplaces and take appropriate actions to eliminate or reduce the risks associated with the hazards.