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MOM to review crane operators' training

  • The New Paper (19 August 2016): MOM to review crane operators' training
  • The New Paper (8 August 2016): Step up efforts to promote work safety

MOM to review crane operators' training
- The New Paper, 19 August 2016

  1. We share Mr Andrew Seow Chwee Guan’s concern on the recent spate of crane accidents (“Step up efforts to promote work safety”, 8 August 2016).
  2. While the number of crane-related incidents to date remained the same as last year, and the incidents did not lead to serious injury, they could have had more disastrous consequences. The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) takes a very serious view of these incidents. Stop-Work Orders were issued immediately to stop all lifting operations at the workplace after each incident.
  3. Our investigations revealed that a significant number of these incidents were caused by mechanical failures such as damaged wire ropes, faulty safety devices, or lifting beyond the safe working load. We have issued fines to crane owners for not maintaining the cranes and suspended crane operators’ licenses until they show proof of competency through re-assessment. Cranes in poor condition were disallowed from use until all faults were rectified, re-inspected and certified safe. We will not hesitate to take stiffer actions, including prosecuting any persons who use cranes in an unsafe manner.
  4. MOM is working with the National Crane Safety Taskforce, formed under the Workplace Safety & Health Council (WSH Council), and Singapore Cranes Association to review training programmes for persons involved in lifting operations to improve their competency. The Taskforce encourages companies to implement the following safety measures to ensure safe lifting operations:
    • Regularly and adequately maintain all cranes in good working condition in accordance to manufacturer’s recommendations;
    • Conduct daily pre-use checks to ensure key components and safety devices are functioning normally and in good condition before use;
    • Properly plan and document all lifting operations in a lifting plan and ensure all personnel involved in the lifting operation are briefed and carry out the operation in accordance to the plan; and
    • Train all personnel involved in lifting operations. Crane operators must undergo familiarisation training prior to operating cranes of different models or configurations.
  5. MOM has also mandated all new mobile cranes used in Singapore from 1 August 2015 to be installed with data loggers and existing cranes be retrofitted with data loggers by 1 August 2018. Data loggers record information of lifting activities, allowing crane owners and workplace occupiers to review unsafe operations. Proactive measures could then be taken to prevent future occurrence. A co-funding scheme covering 50% of installation cost up to $5,000 for each crane is available from the WSH Council (please visit

Step up efforts to promote work safety
- The New Paper, 8 August 2016

  1. I refer to the report "Crane on lorry crashes into linkway" (The New Paper, July 21). Lately, there has been a spate of crane accidents. A report earlier this year, quoting the Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Council, said there were nine dangerous crane-related accidents between Jan 1 and April 5, with three of them occurring within 10 days. And just over a month before the latest incident, on June 17, a linkway at Bukit Batok West Avenue 6 collapsed after a similar crane on a lorry crashed into it.
  2. Fortunately, there were no injuries. But if this trend continues, it will be only a matter of time before there are casualties. It appears that the emphasis on safety measures by the WSH Council has fallen on deaf ears. The authorities should impose heavier penalties on those who violate safety regulations. In order to get the message across, employers should also be held accountable for the actions of their employees when there are such accidents.