To step up enforcement measures to improve vehicular safety at workplaces, Minister of State for Manpower, Sam Tan, joined inspectors from Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM) on an enforcement operation on a workplace. The ministry has planned to conduct more than 250 inspections over a span of eight weeks.
In a press release, MOM cited that up until May 2017, there had been 287 vehicular work injuries, of which six were fatal. “Vehicular incidents were the highest contributor to workplace fatalities during this period,” said MOM. The ministry had also conducted over 400 inspections of factories and construction sites, focusing on workplace traffic management practices, during these five months.
20% of the inspections uncovered poor traffic management practices. The main violations included the lack of segregation of vehicular and pedestrian traffic, and poor key control of vehicles, which could lead to unauthorised or improper use of vehicles such as forklifts. More than 600 enforcement actions, ranging from composition fines to legal prosecution were taken.
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Under the Workplace Safety and Health Act, companies that fail to take reasonably practicable measures to ensure the safety and health of their workers can be fined up to $500,000 for the first offence.
Tan said: “MOM’s enforcement efforts are not simply to catch errant workers and employers from doing the wrong things, but more to teach them how to do the right things on safety and health hazards. So this is an inspection and education operation to create greater awareness among workers and employer. “
He added that the recent spate of vehicle related incidents was worth a concern and clearly showed that more needed to be done to promote good practices. “I urge employers to ensure that vehicular risks are assessed, mitigated and communicated to workers,” Tan shared.