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SMRT Trains Ltd fined $400,000 under the Workplace Safety and Health Act

  1. On 28 February 2017, SMRT Trains Ltd (“SMRT”) pleaded guilty to a charge under section 12(1) of the Workplace Safety and Health Act (Chapter 354A). A record fine of $400,000 was imposed for SMRT’s failure to take measures necessary to ensure the safety and health of its employees who had to access the train tracks during traffic hours. The approved operating procedures were not complied with on the day of the accident on 22 March 2016. In fact, non-compliance had been taking place as early as 2002. These deviations were neither documented nor properly authorised. SMRT has failed to ensure that procedures practised by employees on the ground were duly audited, documented and disseminated. This resulted in an unsafe workplace that eventually led to the death of two of its employees. The stiff sentence imposed serves as a deterrence against companies that do not exercise sufficient diligence in implementing a workplace safety and health management system.
  2. Mr Chan Yew Kwong, Director of MOM’s Occupational Safety and Health Inspectorate, said “Companies need to manage workplace safety and health risks in order to protect their employees. Many workplace injuries and fatalities can be traced to organisational and system failures in the overall management of workplace safety. SMRT’s failure to set clear and effective safety policies for the organisation to follow resulted in the unfortunate loss of lives. There is no excuse when companies fail to protect their employees from workplace safety and health risks.”