Workplaces urged to review their safety practices after 22 deaths in three months

Author: PM editorial | Date: 20 Apr 2016

Caution recommended by the Workplace Health and Safety Council after spike in fatalities

The Workplace Health and Safety (WSH) Council has urged organisations in Singapore to review their safety measures immediately.
The warning comes after it emerged that there have been 22 workplace deaths already this year, compared to 18 during the same period last year. Of the deaths, 10 were in construction, five were in the marine sector and seven were in ‘other workplaces’.
The spike in deaths prompted the WSH Council to remind organisations to “remain vigilant and not compromise on safety.” It also recommended that: “companies continue to build the competency of their employees by sending them for relevant WSH training such as risk assessment, working at height, and behaviour observation and intervention.”
The WSH Council will work with the Singapore Contractors Association Limited and Association of Singapore Marine Industries to ask their members to conduct a Safety Time Out (STO) review in April on all construction and marine work activities.
During this review, organisations will conduct a comprehensive review of all work activities, remind workers to be cautious and observe safety procedures at all times, inspect equipment, and send employees for a refresher in safety courses if necessary.
The STO comprises a series of checklists for different sectors, which include working at heights, workplace traffic and operating forklift trucks.
The most recent of the 22 deaths was on 2 April, when a worker on a construction site was involved in an accident with a forklift truck falling backwards through an opening in the floor.