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More Than 500 Inspections to be Conducted in Special Enforcement Operation

Some $450,000 in fines issued for workplace safety and health (WSH) contraventions in earlier targeted operation

  1. The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is concerned about the recent spate of fatal workplace accidents. We will be stepping up our enforcement efforts on workplaces with a focus on supervisory practices, the quality of worker’s training and adequacy of risk management. 

  2. Recent spate of accidents

  3. In January 2016, there were nine fatal workplace accidents. While investigations into the accidents are ongoing, preliminary findings indicate ineffective implementation of risk assessments, absence of fall protection plans and/or unsafe work procedures were contributory factors. 

  4. Stepping up inspections in early 2016

  5. In view of the spate of accidents, we are stepping up our enforcement efforts. A total of 500 workplaces island-wide will be inspected over the next four weeks to ensure that safety and health standards are maintained.
  6. This stepped up enforcement campaign follows an earlier enforcement operation, code name “Operation Cormorant” that was conducted over eight weeks, from 15 October to 15 December 2015. Over 1,150 workplaces were inspected, with a focus on work at heights, crane safety and traffic management. In total, more than 1,900 WSH contraventions were uncovered and close to $450,000 in fines were issued, with fines ranging from $1,000 to $65,000 per inspection. 14 workplaces were also issued with Stop Work Orders.
  7. The top three contraventions uncovered were:
    • failure to ensure that openings and open sides were properly barricaded or guarded;
    • failure to properly maintain lifting appliances or lifting machines and;
    • failure to establish and implement lifting plans prior to carrying out any lifting operation. 
    MOM warns industries about endangering safety and health of employees

  8. Er. Ho Siong Hin, Commissioner for Workplace Safety and Health said, "Most of these accidents could have been prevented with proper risk assessment and effective implementation of preventive measures. Every worker is entitled to a safe workplace and employers have the responsibility to provide it. We will take errant contractors and employers that expose their workers to unnecessary risks to task.”
  9. Companies are reminded that under the WSH Act, they may be fined up to $500,000 for the first offence for failing to ensure workplace safety and health. Individuals can also be fined up to $200,000 and/or imprisoned up to 24 months for offences under the Act.