MOM Implements Safety Time-Out Due To Rise In Workplace Accidents
Singapore has seen many workplace accidents in recent months, either due to poor safety conditions or bad management. Migrant workers end up bearing the brunt of such incidents, as witnessed recently in Yishun.
In April, an alarming number of 10 deaths occurred within the month itself. The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has thus decided to tackle the issue by calling for a safety time-out spanning two weeks.
The time-out will enable companies to improve workplace safety alongside engaging both workers and unions in reinforcing related measures. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong also commented on the issue, citing a need to address falling safety standards.
Two-week safety time-out to improve workplace conditions
In a Facebook post on Sunday (8 May), MOM announced a collaboration with NTUC Singapore and the Workplace Safety and Health Council to start a safety time-out for companies.
The time-out will commence on 9 May and last approximately two weeks. During this time, MOM urged companies to reinforce their workplace and safety health processes.
They also encouraged company management to engage both workers and unions to identify and work on the gaps in their safety process.
The commencement of the time-out is due to a worrying spate of workplace accidents in the past month. PM Lee noted this as well in his Facebook post addressing the issue.
PM Lee urges companies to enhance workplace safety
Through a Facebook post on 9 May, PM Lee stressed the need to improve working conditions for employees in Singapore.
He cited the recent spike in fatal workplace accidents, with 20 occurring since the start of the year, with 10 in April alone.
This is far too many, and not acceptable.
He acknowledged that Singapore has made good progress in improving workplace safety procedures. However, the reopening of the economy has resulted in a steep drop in various companies’ health standards.
He states that the rise in accident rates highlights a need for companies to step back and review their health and safety processes.
Emphasising the importance of instilling safe conditions for employees, he urged companies to “focus attention on workplace safety, reinforce their safety processes, and deal promptly with safety issues raised by workers.”
Ending off his statement, he reminded companies:
We have a responsibility to keep all our workers safe, whether they are local or foreign.
Maintenance of a safe environment for workers
It is likely that most workplace accidents reported to authorities could have been avoided if a little more care was used in creating safe working conditions.
It is unfair to put workers’ lives at risk, disregarding their needs just for the good of the company. The onus is on the employers to ensure that their staff can return to their families at the end of the day.
Hopefully, companies will use this time-out to improve conditions for their employees as much as possible.
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