Skip to main content

MOM Extends Heightened Safety Period by Three Months with Additional Measures

1. The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) will be extending the Heightened Safety Period (HSP) by three months from 1 March to 31 May 2023, with additional measures. The HSP was first introduced on 1 September 2022 for six months, with stronger measures1 to address the concerning rise in workplace fatalities. The annualised workplace fatality rate per 100,000 workers improved during the HSP, falling from 1.5 for January-August 2022, to 0.8 for September-December 2022. The full year fatality rate for 2022 was 1.3 per 100,000 workers.

2. However, the annualised major injury rate per 100,000 workers increased from 16.8 to 18.7 in that same period. The impact of HSP was also uneven across sectors. While Construction showed the most improvement in terms of monthly average fatal and major injuries2, the Transportation & Storage sector’s monthly average fatalities3 did not improve and its major injuries4 worsened during HSP. This is of concern, as major injuries reflect persistent safety lapses at workplaces and most of these injuries have debilitating effects.

3. Since the start of 2023, there have been four workplace fatalities. Furthermore, based on past trends, periods post-Chinese New Year have had higher workplace injury numbers as companies rush to compensate for workdays lost. Heightened alert and vigilance need to be maintained.

Additional Measures During Extended HSP

4. During the extended HSP, MOM will put in place the following additional measures, taking into account the recommendations of the International Advisory Panel last month, to complement existing ones (see Annex for existing measures):

  • Require CEOs and Board of Directors to attend a mandatory half-day in-person WSH training course, for companies found to have serious WSH lapses following serious or fatal workplace accidents.

    • This is on top of existing HSP measures where companies may be barred from employing new foreign employees for up to three months. We will continue to require company leaders to personally account to MOM and take responsibility for WSH rectifications. These measures aim to strengthen WSH ownership and accountability among corporate senior leadership, and better equip them to meet their WSH responsibilities.
    • The course curriculum will be an enhanced version of the existing bizSAFE5 training for senior management. It will feature additional modules on the Approved Code of Practice for Chief Executives and Board of Directors’ WSH Duties, and root cause analysis of top incident types. MOM will notify companies whose senior leaders are required to attend this training.
  • Increase maximum fines from $20,000 to $50,000 for breaches of WSH Act Subsidiary Legislation that could result in death or serious bodily injury, in order to enhance deterrence for WSH Act breaches.

  • Empower workers by raising awareness of the various channels to report WSH concerns and providing protection for workers who speak up.

    • The WSH Council will launch a National WSH Campaign in April 2023, to encourage workers and members of the public to report unsafe practices at workplaces. Workers are encouraged to first report WSH concerns to their supervisors and companies for expedient resolution, before raising it to the authorities if no action is taken. This can be easily done through the SnapSAFE page on MOM’s website, and a QR code leading to the page is displayed at worksites. Workers and members of the public can also call MOM’s hotline at 6438 5122.
    • Migrant workers can also reach out to MOM through the FWMOMCare app, or reach the Migrant Workers’ Centre at 6536 2692. The Campaign will also heighten awareness of the types of protection available for workers who report or raise WSH issues.

  • Introduce bite-sized versions of WSH guidance materials to better support all companies, in particular SMEs, in instilling a stronger safe operations culture. This is in addition to the earlier expansion of the StartSAFE programme to better support SMEs. The WSH Council will introduce these materials from May 2023. 

Longer-term Measures to Sustain WSH Standards

5. Beyond the HSP and the above measures, MOM, together with the Multi-Agency Workplace Safety Taskforce (MAST)6, will consider further measures to strengthen WSH standards and practices. These include placing greater accountability on employers and senior management, enhancing safety training, reviewing incentives and penalties, and sectoral strategies.

6. Said Senior Minister of State for Manpower, Mr Zaqy Mohamad: “We have made good progress following the HSP, with improvements seen in the annualised workplace fatality rates and within the Construction sector. This shows that tangible results in WSH performance is possible with concerted efforts from all stakeholders. However, we are still not where we want to be – which is why we remain cautious and have decided to extend the HSP with additional measures. Only with vigilance, greater ownership and continual training, can we get back on track to achieving our WSH 2028 goals of keeping our fatality rate at below 1.0 per 100,000 workers, and our major injury rates at below 12.0 per 100,000 workers.”




Existing Initiatives for Heightened Safety Period




Tighter enforcement measures

Companies found to have serious WSH lapses following serious or fatal workplace accidents may be debarred from employing new foreign employees for up to three months. Chief Executives will also be required to personally account to MOM and take responsibility for rectifications.

Strengthened support for SMEs who need help to improve their WSH practices and processes, through the expansion of StartSAFE

Provide small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with more access to WSH consultants who can help them identify WSH risks and implement good WSH practices, as part of the existing StartSAFE programme. The costs of the WSH consultants are fully borne by MOM.

Targeted measures for the construction sector

  1. A new harmonised set of disqualification criteria across all public sector construction tenders to align the evaluation criteria and temporarily disqualify contractors with poor WSH performance from participating in these tenders;
  2. A Revised Demerit Point System, where the threshold for issuing demerit points is lowered. This means that more demerit points will be issued for WSH Act breaches, and errant companies with consistently poor WSH performance will reach the penalty thresholds more quickly - after which they will be debarred from hiring foreign employees for up to 2 years.

Set up of Multi-Agency Workplace Safety Taskforce

Comprising representatives from key government agencies that oversee sectors where most fatal and major injuries occur, the Multi-Agency Workplace Safety Taskforce aims to:

  1. Identify sectoral-specific strategies that complement MOM’s cross-sectoral strategies, to contribute to a sustained reduction in workplace fatality and injury rates, and
  2. Strengthen sectoral engagements with companies to reinforce the importance of WSH.



  1. See
  2. Monthly average number of fatalities for Construction fell from 1.6 pre-HSP to 0.3 during HSP. Similarly, monthly average number of major injuries fell from 8.3 pre-HSP to 7.3 during HSP for major injuries with higher risk of fatalities, and 5.5 pre-HSP to 4.5 during HSP for major injuries with lower risk of fatalities.
  3. Monthly average number of fatalities for Transportation & Storage pre- and during HSP remained at 0.8.
  4. Monthly average number of major injuries with lower risk of fatalities for Transportation & Storage worsened from 2.3 pre-HSP to 4.3 during HSP, and monthly average number of major injuries with higher risk of fatalities stayed about the same pre- and during HSP at 2.3 and 2.0 respectively.
  5. bizSAFE is a nationally recognised capability building programme designed to help companies build workplace safety and health capabilities.
  6. Set up on 12 October 2022, the MAST comprises representatives from Ministry of Manpower, Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment, Ministry of Transport, Ministry of National Development and Ministry of Trade and Industry.