MoM vows to improve measures for workplace safety in construction firms
There have been 27 workplace fatalities in 2022 so far, almost double that of 2019.
The Ministry of Manpower vowed to improve measures for workplace safety in construction firms following a "worrying spike" in fatalities in 2022.
In his speech at the SCAL Safety and Health Campaign 2022, Minister for Manpower Tan See Leng said there have been 27 workplace fatalities in n2022 so far, which is "close to double that of the same period in 2019."
Of the 27 deaths, 10 were from the construction sector.
"Six of the 10 deaths were from smaller construction firms or projects. My exhortation to everyone is that we must not leave out such firms and must work hard to engage them to improve their WSH standards too," Tan said.
To improve workplace safety and health standards (WSH) in the construction firms, Tan said the ministry is eyeing harmonised disqualification criteria for the public sector’s construction tenders to disqualify contractors with poor work practices.
"We will also review the current demerit points system for breaches under the WSH Act or Regulations, to ensure its relevance and effectiveness," Tan added.
"This means that safer construction companies will have better business opportunities. The unsafe firms will be disqualified from competing with you for government contracts, or will have a tougher time getting foreign manpower because they have more demerit points," he added.
Tan also called for proper pre-start work assessments to identify danger spots in construction sites, saying it should be institutionalised.
"Weekly site coordination meetings allow for the coordination of works carried out by different sub-contractors and elimination of incompatible works. This is supplemented by daily toolbox meetings by the various work teams to allow for hazards, control measures and precautions associated with the works to be shared with workers before the commencement of works," he said.
Lastly, Tan said the MOM is also reviewing the coverage of WSH personnel and considering requiring CCTVs or other means of surveillance to be installed on-site at strategic high-risk locations.