Source from Straitstimes last 4 Nov’10, MOM would conduct another 1,000 checks on construction sites over the next 3 mths.
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Checks on 1,000 worksites
Inspectors from the Ministry of Manpower will make at least 1,000 checks on construction worksites over the next three months in a bid to arrest the rising number of deaths from fall.
While fatalities have declined in most sectors, the death rate in the construction sector has remained ‘virtually unchanged’ from last year, said MOM on Thursday.
From January to September, more than half of all fatalities were from construction sites. Of these, two in five were caused by falls from height, making it the most common type of fatal incident at the workplace.
To combat this, MOM is stepping up enforcement efforts on the construction sector.
MOM’s Commissioner for Workplace Safety and Health, Mr Ho Siong Hin said: ‘The repeated fatalities at construction worksites, especially those fatalities involving falling from heights, are a serious concern for MOM.
‘Our investigations show that many of these cases could have been prevented if the contractor had taken basic safety measures. Such disregard for safety and lives is unacceptable.’
MOM also warned that stiff penalties will be imposed on recalcitrant contractors ‘to serve as a strong signal to those who take workers’ safety for granted.’
Last Thursday, the MOM inspectors carried out 39 checks on construction worksites at Sentosa Cove. Eight stop work orders were issued, after the inspectors found 151 safety violations at 39 worksites.
The contractors who were issued the stop work orders had demonstrated a blatant disregard for safety and health at the worksites, the MOM said. In addition to demerit points, they face fines of up to $5,000 per violation. The contractors were ordered to rectify the safety lapses before they could restart work.
Companies that fail to ensure workplace safety may be charged under the Workplace Safety and Health Act, which carries a maximum fine of $500,000. Individuals can also be charged under the WSH Act, and face fines up to $200,000 and jail of up to two years.
MOM officers will also issue stop work orders in workplaces that present immediate danger to the workers.Source: http://www.straitstimes.com (4Nov’10)