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“Everyone has the responsibility to make the workplace safe, and everyone can do something to make it safe.”
At the launch of the falls prevention campaign 2015, Sam Tan, Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, reinforced focus on areas with a high number of fatalities and injuries: “slips, trips and falls”.
Workplace accidents involving falling from heights have been one of the top 3 contributors for workplace fatalities and major injuries since 2011, he pointed out.
The situation deteriorated this year, with 16 fatalities and 87 major injuries due to falls from heights to date in 2015, compared to 10 fatalities and 88 major injuries for the whole of 2014.
Falling from heights, slips, trips and falls (STF) was the top contributor for both major and minor injuries in the first half of this year, with 67 major injuries and 1,350 minor injuries.
To enable more awareness of working at heights, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) held two clinics in July, with about 120 companies participating.
MOM has also stepped up enforcement operations, with plans to conduct 500 spot checks on companies in two months, with the caution of stern action for those in breach of safety regulations.
The eight-week Operation Cormorant was launched in mid-October 2015. More than 300 workplaces have been inspected so far.
Additionally, MOM has rolled out the Slips and Trips Evaluation Programme, targeting SMEs in building capability and mitigating the risks of STF.
200 employers have participated in the pilot since it was launched in June.
“Employers found the programme beneficial as they are now able to identify STF hazards such as uneven flooring, wet floor and poor housekeeping, and take necessary measures to eliminate the risks,” said Tan.
For added focus on workplace safety. the WSH Council is launching a festive safety campaign with the message that “small things cause big problems.”
“This campaign will highlight the importance of not overlooking seemingly ‘small things’ at work such as not cleaning up spilled water on the floor or not putting things back in its rightful place.”