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Singapore reviewing workplace safety law

Singapore has begun a review of its workplace safety laws in an attempt to reduce accidents. 04 Aug 2017

Minister of state for manpower Sam Tan told Singapore's parliament that a review of the Workplace Safety and Health Act is underway and will be complete by the end of the year. This is the third review of the law since it was enacted in 2006, he said.

"Safety competency is a function of enforcement, awareness and training. On enforcement, MOM conducts more than 16,000 inspections per year, which lead to companies remedying any safety gaps found. On awareness, the Workplace Safety and Health Council has education programmes that reach out to 500,000 workers a year. On training, more than 150,000 workers undergo safety training every year," Tan said.

MOM recently published a report showing fewer workplace fatalities in Singapore in the first half of 2017 than in the previous six months.

There were 19 workplace fatalities in the first half of the year, down from 24 in the second half of 2016, and 42 in the first six months of that year. The manufacturing sector was the top contributor with five fatalities followed by construction sector (with two.

 There were also fewer workplace injuries in the first six months of this year, at 6,151 compared to 6,769 in the previous half year.  However, the number of confirmed occupational disease cases increased from 341 cases to 467 cases.

MOM conducted over 2,800 inspections in the first half of the year, 400 of which focused on workplace traffic management practices in warehouses, storage yards, factories and construction sites. Another 400 targeted work at height activities in the construction, manufacturing, marine and transport, and storage industries.