Thu, May 27, 2010
Construction workers subjected to hazardous environments
Examples of safety workplace violations
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Photos: MOM

A STAGGERING number of safety violations were uncovered during surprise worksite inspections conducted by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), a grim reminder of the hazardous environments construction workers are working in.

A total of 852 violations were uncovered at 200 worksites, most of which were in the construction sector. These worksites lacked proper secured openings, barricades, access and had unsafe scaffolds.

The manufacturing sector also faired badly in terms of workplace safety - sites inspected lacked barriers at the sides of mezzanine floors and staircases, as well as bad housekeeping resulting in tripping hazards.

Worksites which posed danger to workers were slapped with 16 stop work orders and employers were advised to rectify the safety lapses before work can be commenced.

The alarming number of workplace safety violations were revealed during "Operation Sky Hawk II" - the first series of part of 2,000 inspections which MOM is conducting from April to June.

Fines of up to $200,000 were issued during this operation.

Under the Workplace Safety and Health Act, companies that fail to ensure workplace safety may be charged which carries a maximum fine of $500,000. Individuals also face a maximum fine of $200,000 and/or two years jail term.

Mr Ho Siong Hin, Commissioner for Workplace Safety and Health, MOM said: "As seen during 'Operation Sky Hawk II' and past inspections conducted by MOM, we will not hesitate to take parties who fail to follow safety rules to task.

"However, enforcement alone cannot improve safety outcomes - industry too must do its part to keep their worksites safe."

In addition to the on-going inspections under "Operation Sky Hawk II", MOM will be conducting the next Cluster Operations (COPS) at construction sites in the Punggol area.

MOM is also visiting smaller worksites to brief more than 900 supervisors and workers on fall protection equipment.


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