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Offender sentenced to six weeks' imprisonment for using forged certificate to gain employment

Hanif Miah Md Nurul Islam (“Hanif”), a 39-year-old individual, was sentenced to six weeks’ imprisonment for offences under section 53(c) of the Workplace Safety and Health Act on 24 February 2022. He pleaded guilty to knowingly using a forged certificate to gain employment as a formwork supervisor.  

Case Summary

2 In 2015, Hanif obtained a forged Formwork Safety Course for Supervisors certificate for a fee. Between September and December 2020, he was appointed as a formwork supervisor on at least four occasions based on the forged certificate. In doing so, he falsely represented that he had completed the course, when he did not undergo the necessary training to be a formwork supervisor. 

MOM’s Investigation Findings

3 In February 2021, the Ministry of Manpower (“MOM”) commenced investigations after a sub-contractor approached MOM to verify the authenticity of Hanif’s certificates. Investigations revealed that Hanif had not received any safety and health training that was required for him to be familiar with the hazards associated with the construction, erection, alteration or dismantling of formwork. 

4 Formwork operations are complex and dangerous, and poor installation or dismantling of formwork may result in the collapse of the entire formwork structure. Hanif’s actions thus placed himself, workers under his supervision, and other workers at the worksite, at risk of serious harm. 

5 In addition, Hanif had also obtained forged certificates for the Metal Scaffolding Erection Course and the Supervision of Metal Scaffolding Erection Course. 

6 Mr Sebastian Tan, MOM’s Director of Occupational Safety and Health Inspectorate, said, “Hanif showed a blatant disregard for the law and the importance of training. Although it is fortunate that no harm arose from his actions, his lack of training could have led to very serious accidents. Proper training and certification are essential for work to be performed safely especially in high-risk activities such as formwork operations. We will also not hesitate to prosecute offenders who forge their safety credentials and endanger others.”