SINGAPORE, 5 July – Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM) announced that it took enforcement action against more than 9,000 workplace safety breaches in the country in the first six months of 2022.
The current figure is double the number recorded in the same period last year, said the Manpower Minister Tan See Leng, in response to parliamentary questions from three members of the Singapore parliament.
The minister added that there have been 28 workplace deaths in the first six months of this year, compared to only 17 in the same period in 2019 prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Falls from heights and vehicular accidents accounted for half of workplace deaths in the country.
“Based on MOM’s preliminary investigations, most of these accidents were due to preventable safety lapses such as inadequate control measures or lack of adherence to safe work procedures,” he said.
The minister said that all of the deaths involved workers with more than two years of working experience, excluding the possibility of inexperience as a contributory factor to the fatalities.
“For cases where other co-workers were involved, all of the co-workers had at least three years of working experience,” he added.
According to MOM about 80 per cent of the workplace deaths in Singapore in 2022 occured in industries with “higher-risk” work settings, with 10 fatalities in the construction industry, five in the transport and storage sector, four in the marine sector and four in the manufacturing sector.
The data shows that most deaths happened in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Tan said that his ministry issued more than 50 stop-work orders for breaches under the Workplace Safety and Health Act and Regulations, double the number of the same period last year.
Since Jun 14, MOM has introduced stiffer penalties such as doubling the composition fine quantum, and requiring companies that have been issued stop-work orders or have had major injuries to engage external auditors to conduct a thorough review of their workplace safety and health processes.
The ministry said that between January and June this year, it conducted more than 3,500 inspections in the higher-risk sectors such as construction, marine and manufacturing – 35 per cent more than the same period last year.
Over the past five years, MOM received about 2,400 to 3,800 reports a year on unsafe acts in the workplace.