Investigation into these accidents reveal many safety lapses, such as poor maintenance of heavy machinery or unguarded openings.
When addressing workplace accidents in Singapore for the first six months of 2021, Minister of Manpower Dr Tan See Leng has listed the following as the leading causes:
- Leading causes of fatal accidents: Falls from heights, and vehicular-related accidents.
- Leading causes of non-fatal accidents: Slips, trips and falls, and machinery-related accidents.
This data, he provided, in response to a Parliamentary question by MP Assoc Prof Jamus Jerome Lim, who asked Dr Tan if ancillary factors such as cost-cutting measures may possibly have resulted in safety lapses.
Investigation into these accidents reveal many safety lapses, such as poor maintenance of heavy machinery or unguarded openings, indicating a lack of adherence to safe work procedures.
Dr Tan added: “While the COVID-19 pandemic has led to cost pressures on affected businesses, it is unclear the degree to which this has contributed to safety lapses at the workplace.”
However, he affirmed that Ministry does not condone any action, cost-cutting or otherwise, that compromises workers’ safety and will take stern actions against any company, officer and management found to have done so.
Singapore’s Courts will ultimately decide the severity of the sentence imposed on the accused company or individual. The Prosecution may assist the Court’s decision by:
- drawing the Court's attention to relevant case law and sentencing guidelines from the High Court, if any;
- highlighting the aggravating and mitigating factors in the case, including the culpability of the accused and the potential and actual harm; and
- submitting for an appropriate sentence, in line with the Ministry’s observations on developing trends and areas of safety concern.
Image / 123RF