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Contractor barred from hiring foreign workers for 3 months after serious workplace accident

Here in Singapore, Ministry of Manpower MOM reported that aA waterproofing contractor has been barred from hiring foreign workers for three months after one of its employees fell more than 8m through a roof and sustained multiple bodily injuries. The company Le Fong Building Services had a worker who stepped on a skylight panel. The skylight panel broke and he fell.


The Ministry of Manpower MOM reported that he was fortunate to survive the serious fall but remains warded in the hospital.


William Lim the Managing Director of Le Fong Building Services was called up to the Ministry of Manpower to account for the serious accident that happened on 1st Sept 2022. He was also asked to account for the major safety lapses at the workplace. This was after Ministry of Manpower MOM had inspected the worksite and found unsafe work practices that directly contributed to the accident and posed imminent danger to other workers.


In just the recent weeks Ministry of Manpower and The Workplace Safety Health Council had mandated that companies conduct mandatory time-out to review safety procedures amid uptick in workplace fatalities and injuries


As a result of the accident and the unsafe work practices Le Fong Building Services was ordered to stop all work at height activities across its worksites, and has been debarred from employing new foreign employees for three months. Making it the first company so far to be subject to stricter measures under a six-month “heightened safety” period from Sep 1 till Feb 28, 2023.


Heightened Safety Period lasts from 1 September 2022 to 28 February 2023. During this period, companies with unsafe workplace conditions or poor risk controls following serious or fatal workplace accidents may be debarred from employing new foreign employees for up to three months.


According to Ministry of Manpower MOM Mr Lim had to turn up personally and account to MOM. Ministry of Manpower MOM said that Mr Lim acknowledged the company’s failure to implement a proper system to address safety hazards from working at height. Mr Lim will need to ensure that rectification is carried out and a robust workplace safety and health system put in place before the stop-work order is lifted.


Ministry of Manpower MOM stressed that "Company leaders are in the best position to set a positive culture and shape safety practices on the ground. All company leaders must pay utmost attention to workplace safety and health."


The Ministry of Manpower MOM urged company leaders to subscribe to the Workplace Safety and Health Council’s alerts, to incorporate lessons from past accidents.


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