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Govt policy directs feedback to correct agencies

  • The Straits Times (09 August 2012) : Govt policy directs feedback to correct agencies
  • The Straits Times ( 21 July 2012) : Have a one-call centre for danger alerts

Govt policy directs feedback to correct agencies
- The Straits Times, 09 August 2012

We would like to thank Mr. Chen Sen Lenn for his suggestion "Have a one-call centre for danger alerts" (ST, Forum, 21 July 2012).

2.   The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) takes all feedback from the public seriously and follows the "No Wrong Door" policy adopted by the whole of government to put members of the public in contact with the correct agency.

3.   This was the case when MOM had received feedback from a resident on 28 May 2012 on fire, environmental and workplace safety and health issues at the East Village Hotel worksite. The resident had expressed concern over the improper storage and disposal of construction materials and debris on the worksite, as well as subsequent concerns over noise levels.

4.   In accordance with the "No Wrong Door" Policy, MOM had escalated the matter pertaining to fire safety to the SCDF for their action. SCDF enforcement officers immediately carried out an inspection on 31 May 2012 and a Fire Hazard Abatement Notice (FHAN) was issued against the management for fire safety infringements.

5.   On its part, MOM contacted the hotel management and warned the contractor to ensure safe disposal of debris at the workplace. MOM had also asked the contractors to submit evidence of the measures taken to rectify the problems highlighted, to which they complied. MOM later updated the resident on the actions taken as well.

6.   Investigations by MOM and SCDF into the 16th July East Village Hotel fire are on-going to establish the cause, and both agencies will take up enforcement actions where necessary.

7.   It is the duty of every occupier of a workplace to take reasonably practicable measures to ensure that the workplace, as well as equipment, articles and substances at the workplace are safe and without risks to those within the premises. Occupiers who fail to do so may face penalties under the Workplace Safety and Health Act.

8.   Members of the public can call the MOM safety hotline at 6317 1111 or email for complaints on workplace safety and health. All information shared will be kept strictly confidential. 

Have a one-call centre for danger alerts
- The Straits Times, 21 July 2012

Monday's fire at East Village Hotel in Marine Parade (above) reignites the need for a one-call centre to coordinate enforcement when the authorities are alerted to a public danger (''Tricky, dangerous' escape from hotel fire'; Tuesday).
According to the report, an individual had warned the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) about fire safety in the area, among other issues, after which the ministry had reminded the contractor to ensure proper disposal of debris at the workplace. As it was related directly to a potential cause of fire, the Singapore Civil Defence Force should have been informed and it would have conducted a 'fire abatement' visit because of the public nature of a hotel.

The one-call centre concept could expand on what MOM is already doing. For example, when a workplace accident is reported to MOM and it concerns an HDB worksite, the Housing Board department concerned is informed. HDB officials then contact or visit the site concerned.