MOM to step up checks after 8 workplace deaths in November

Staff Writer, Singapore
·Editorial Team
Minister of State for Manpower Zaqy Mohamad (dark blue shirt) announced that his ministry will be stepping up inspections following a spate of workplace deaths in November 2019. (PHOTO: Zaqy Mohamad/Facebook)
Minister of State for Manpower Zaqy Mohamad (in blue) announced his ministry will be stepping up inspections following a spate of workplace deaths in November 2019. (PHOTO: Zaqy Mohamad/Facebook)

SINGAPORE — Amid a spate of eight worker deaths in November, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) will be stepping up enforcement and inspection efforts in high-risk workplaces over the next two months.

In a post put up on his Facebook page on Thursday (28 November), Minister of State for Manpower Zaqy Mohamad said he is deeply concerned about the spate of fatal workplace accidents this month.

“Most of these cases happened in high-risk industries such as construction and marine,” he said in his post. “MOM takes every fatality very seriously and is investigating the accidents. The safety of our workers is our utmost priority.

“I urge all stakeholders to stay vigilant especially as the festive season approaches and work activities may be increased to meet production schedules. Companies should carry out thorough risk assessments and put in place mitigating measures to reduce risks to workers.”

400 more inspections over next 2 months

Zaqy said that, on top of regular inspections, his ministry will conduct 400 inspections in high-risk industries over the next two months, to ensure that companies address workplace safety and health risks.

At the same time, MOM will work closely with the Workplace Safety and Health Council (WSH) and the industry to safeguard workers and the public.

“We urge construction firms to heed the Singapore Contractors Association Limited’s call to conduct a safety timeout and take stock of safety procedures at project sites,” Zaqy added.

According to WSH statistics, the eight deaths in November were the highest number of fatalities recorded in a month in 2019. MOM data showed a total of 25 workplace deaths from January to September this year. For the whole of 2018, there were 41 workplace deaths reported to MOM.

Workplace deaths in November

On 4 November, an Indian national was killed when a crane collapsed at the construction site of a new rehab facility in Novena. Another man, aged 35, was injured.

Last week, a Bangladeshi worker died after he was struck by a collapsing wall while carrying out housekeeping works at Anglo-Chinese School (Barker Road). On the same day, another Bangladeshi worker died after a crane accident at a construction site in Sengkang.

On Tuesday, a worker who fell more than 9m within the cargo hold of a vessel under repair died from his injuries. Three other workers also died from falls this month.

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