7 workplace fatalities in February ‘extremely alarming’: Zaqy Mohamad

SINGAPORE: There have been seven deadly office accidents thus far in February, an “extremely alarming” determine in comparison with 30 deaths for the entire of final yr, mentioned Senior Minister of State for Manpower Zaqy Mohamad on Monday (Feb 22). 

It units a “worrying trend” for the yr forward, mentioned Mr Zaqy, including that the accidents occurred throughout varied industries together with development, transportation and storage and marine.

The spate of accidents prompted the Office Security and Well being (WSH) Council and the Singapore Contractors Affiliation Ltd (SCAL) to name for a security time-out on the usage of equipment.

A security time-out entails reviewing actions and protocols.

In a Fb submit, Mr Zaqy urged employers and employees to take a step again to reassess their workplaces and security procedures.

“These incidents could have been prevented with adequate risk assessment of the workplace, and proper safety procedures in place. In particular, there were two cases where both deceased operated a boom lift and a forklift, even though they were untrained and unauthorised,” he mentioned.

“Contractors using such heavy machinery must ensure that only trained and authorised personnel are allowed to operate them. Keys to these machines should not be left unattended within the machines.”


The seven accidents in February concerned three employees who fell from top, three who had been caught between objects, and one who was concerned in a work-related site visitors accident, mentioned the WSH Council in a separate Fb submit.

In a single accident on Feb 1, a plasterer was discovered unconscious and slouched towards the management panel of his growth carry. He was taken to the hospital the place he was pronounced lifeless, in line with an accident alert issued by the council.

In one other accident on Feb 10, an organization director was overseeing development at a residence when he fell by a flooring opening and landed on a staircase about 4.7m beneath. The person was pronounced lifeless on the scene.

READ: Holding workers protected and sound – On patrol with office security inspectors

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is investigating each accidents.

Mr Zaqy mentioned that MOM will step up its enforcement with a better concentrate on the chance of work-at-heights and protected use of equipment.

The ministry will goal high-risk sectors reminiscent of development, manufacturing and marine industries within the coming months, he mentioned.

“MOM will not hesitate to take strict enforcement actions against companies who do not have the proper measures in place to safeguard the safety and health of their employees,” added Mr Zaqy.

READ: The affect of office accidents – Victims wrestle with debt and altered lives

Motion can even be taken towards any employees caught working equipment that they aren’t authorised or educated to function. This may increasingly embody cancellation of labor passes within the case of overseas employees, he mentioned.

WSH Council chairman John Ng mentioned that accidents might be “easily prevented” if correct threat assessments are carried out, and web site personnel adhere strictly to protected work procedures.

“I am gravely concerned with this spate of seven fatal workplace accidents that is unprecedented and the absolute unnecessary loss of lives,” he mentioned.

“I call on all employers to do a safety time-out especially on the use of machinery, to assess and review existing safety provisions and implement immediate necessary measures to uphold good safety practices.”

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