More than 1000 workplace safety violations found

More than 1,000 safety contraventions have been uncovered, and 13 Stop-Work Orders issued in an eight-week enforcement operation, said the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).

In a Facebook post yesterday (3 Dec), MOM said Operation Cormorant, launched in mid-October 2015, focused on issues such as work at heights, crane safety and traffic management. A total of 500 worksites and other workplaces across all sectors are set to be inspected. Close to 500 workplaces have already been covered of which a majority are worksites.

Among the contraventions discovered was an excavation site that was not done according to a Professional Engineer's design. Employees were working in at the site despite it not being made unsafe. At another site, large gaps were left uncovered in aboveground work areas, and scaffolding was also not constructed by an unapproved scaffold contractor.

MOM said it will take “stern action” against errant employers and employees who disregard Workplace Safety and Health (WSH). Depending on the severity, errant contractors may be subjected to warnings, fines, demerit points, or even prosecution. To date, 14 companies have been prosecuted under the WSH Act this year.

Minister of State for Manpower Sam Tan said the construction industry is one of the top 3 industries for workplace fatalities and injuries. 

“We want to educate companies on good safety measures. Therefore, it is crucial that findings from our inspections and enforcement actions are shared with companies across the industry so everyone can learn together," said Mr Tan.

The findings for Operation Cormorant will be released in January 2016.

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Source: “13 Stop-Work Orders issued so far in enforcement operation: MOM” (CNA, 3 Dec 2015)

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