Will naming & shaming improve safety?
In a new move, MOM names PUB as developer & Transbuild Engineering as main contractor of project where worker was killed on Thursday
He was working at the bottom of a shaft at a sewer project worksite at Maxwell Road when disaster struck.
Equipment hoisted by a nearby crane suddenly slipped from the lifting slings and tumbled into the shaft, hitting and killing the 30-year-old Malaysian at the scene on Thursday.
He was the 42nd person to die in a workplace accident this year, up from 29 in the same period last year.
The New Paper found out about this tragedy from a media release sent out by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) yesterday.
The release also stated that national water agency PUB is the developer of the construction project while the main contractor is Transbuild Engineering.
The inclusion of such details appears to be a new move by the MOM to keep the public updated on such cases.
The move to name the parties involved could put pressure on companies to pay closer attention to safety, and possibly slash the number of workplace deaths.
President of the National Safety Council of Singapore Ameerali Abdeali welcomed the move.
He told TNP: "The safety performance of a company should not be a secret. I hope that this measure will incentivise companies to do everything possible to raise the standards of safety in their workplaces."
However, executive director of the Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics Jolovan Wham felt that naming and shaming errant companies will not be effective in stemming workplace deaths.
He said: "Our workers are still being exploited. No matter how many penalties are put in place, the numbers of workplace fatalities are still going up, year after year."
When asked about what more can be done, Mr Wham said: "We need the general public to talk to their MPs about these issues.
"We need to debate more and have more in-depth discussions about workplace safety in Parliament.
"These cases are often under-reported as people are afraid to lose their jobs. Many unsafe worksites and practices are also unreported for the very same reason."
MOM said that it has stopped all work at the affected worksite.
Responding to queries from TNP, the PUB said it is helping MOM and the police with their investigations into the unnatural death.
By the numbers
Number of people killed in workplace accidents in the first six months
Source: Ministry of Manpower