Manpower Ministry steps up checks on vehicular safety practices at workplaces

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SINGAPORE: The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is stepping up enforcement measures on vehicular safety at workplaces after 287 vehicular work injuries were recorded in the first five months of the year – six of which were fatal. 

More than 250 inspections are planned over eight weeks, MOM said in a media release on Tuesday (Jun 20). 

MOM said it conducted more than 400 inspections at warehouses, storage yards, factories and construction sites, with a focus on workplace traffic management practices, from January to May this year. More than 600 enforcement actions – ranging from fines to legal prosecution – were taken, MOM said. 

One in five inspections uncovered poor traffic management practices, MOM said, adding that most violations involved a lack of segregation of vehicular and pedestrian traffic. MOM also found instances where vehicle keys were not well kept, which could lead to unauthorised or improper use of vehicles such as forklifts, it said. 

The forklift key was left on the forklift when not in use, which may lead to unauthorised use, says MOM. (Photo: MOM) 

“MOM’s enforcement efforts are not simply to catch errant workers and employers from doing the wrong things, but more to teach them how to do the right things on safety and health hazards,” Minister of State for Manpower Sam Tan said on Monday, following an enforcement operation at a workplace.

“This is an inspection and education operation to create greater awareness among workers and employers. The recent spate of vehicle related incidents is worrying and clearly shows that more is needed to promote good practices. I urge employers to ensure that vehicular risks are assessed, mitigated and communicated to workers,” he said.  

MOM added that under the Workplace Safety and Health Act, companies that fail to take reasonably practicable measures to ensure the safety and health of their workers could be fined up to S$500,000 for the first offence. 

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