Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say WSH Conference

Minister Lim Swee Say, the Singapore Manpower Minister said that 9 out of 10 workplace deaths in construction sector occur because workers had unsafe behaviours or adopted unsafe behaviours for example taking shortcuts or not wearing safety harness or other personal protective devices or personal protective gear.

The Singapore Manpower Ministry was speaking at the Singapore Workplace Safety and Health WSH Conference on Wednesday 24 August 2016. Minister Lim warned that the workplace fatality rate is on the rise.

It is noted that 48 fatalities occurred in 2016 up to now. Manpower Minister warned that the fatality rate may hit 2.2 this year. This is up from 1.8 in 2014.

Manpower Minister at the WSH Conference said that 22 construction deaths from June 2015 to May 2016- 7 out of 10 were dues to poor planning or poor execution of work activities. This was cited from the WSH Institute.

WSH Institute study showed that risk assessments were not carried out or proper risk control measures were not put in place for 87 percent of the companies involved in the 33 deaths

Manpower Minister said that some companies have even set aside safety budgets to cover enforcement fines.

He stressed that workers health was also important and that 33% of work fatalities involved workers with existing medical conditions which may be aggravated by their work resulting in accidents. He added that there is a need to redesign jobs for elderly workers.

Manpower Minister Lim called for a more progressive and pervasive culture of WSH.

He is quoted as saying “Safety is not just about keeping oneself safe. More often than not accidents are not caused by the victims themselves but by the people around them. Companies should take greater ownership themselves by identifying workplace safety and health risks upstream. The Government can likewise support and encourage by incorporating more safety considerations into public construction tenders. This will spur private developers to do the same”

Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say was speaking at the WSH Conference. The WSH Conference is a 2 day WSH Conference that starts on Wednesday 24 August 2016 and closes on Thursday 25 August 2016 with more than 1000 WSH experts and employers.


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