In a Facebook posting on Thursday (28 November), Minister of State for Manpower and National Development Zaqy Mohamad said that he’s “deeply concerned about the spate of fatal workplace accidents this month”.
In November this year alone, a total of eight workers lost their lives while on the job, and most of these accidents occurred in high-risk industries like Construction and Marine, Mr Zaqy said.
He added that the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) takes these deaths very seriously and is investigating the accidents.
As such, the Minister stated that MOM will step up its enforcement and inspection efforts at high-risk workplaces over the next two months.
“MOM will also step up on enforcement efforts. On top of the regular inspections, we will conduct 400 inspections in high-risk industries over the next two months to ensure companies address Workplace Safety and Health Council (WSH) risk,” he wrote in the post.
Given that MOM’s “utmost priority” is the safety of its workers, Mr Zaqy also urges all stakeholders to “stay vigilant especially as the festive season approaches and work activities may be increased to meet production schedules”.
He added that companies should not forget to conduct “thorough risk assessments and put in place mitigating measures to reduce risks to workers”.
Additionally, Mr Zaqy highlighted that MOM will work closely with the WSH Council as well as 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 safety procedures at project sites. WSH is everyone’s responsibility,” he said.
Based on WSH statistics, the eight fatalities recorded in November is the highest number of deaths in a month in 2019. MOM data revealed a total of 25 workplace deaths from January to September this year.
For the whole of last year, 41 workplace deaths were reported to MOM.
Workplace fatalities this month
An Indian national died on 4th November after a crane collapsed at the construction site of a new Tan Tock Seng Hospital rehabilitation facility in Novena. Another 35-year-old Bangladeshi man was injured on his leg and was taken to the hospital for treatment.
Separately, a Bangladeshi worker lost his life last week after he was struck by a collapsing wall at Anglo-Chinese School (Barker Road) while he was carrying out housekeeping works.
On that very same day, another Bangladeshi worker died in a crane accident at a construction site in Sengkang.
Three days ago (26 November), a worker fell more than 9m within the cargo hold of a vessel under repair. He died from his injuries. Besides him, another three workers also passed away due to falls this month.