MOM to carry out 400 worksite safety inspections from May to June
From May to June this year, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) will carry out 400 worksite safety inspections targeting high-risk sectors, including construction and manufacturing.
Called Operation Ibis, these inspections will be on top of routine checks.
Senior Minister of State for Manpower Zaqy Mohamad said yesterday his ministry is paying closer attention to the manufacturing sector as it had seen six fatalities last year, compared with four in 2019.
The sector also had the highest number of non-fatal injuries last year - 110 cases of major injuries and over 2,300 cases of minor ones. Machinery incidents, which made up about 30 per cent of all injuries in the sector, are a particular area of concern, Mr Zaqy added.
Noting that there were 48 cases of amputations and loss of limbs or partial limbs, he said: "This is too high. Each limb that's lost is a rice bowl being impacted or hurt. So we must give a lot more focus on the manufacturing sector and how we can improve safety."
He was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a site inspection visit yesterday to Esun International, a waste metal recycling centre in Jurong.
The company was issued a stop-work order yesterday after the inspection uncovered various safety issues, such as poor machinery maintenance.
It was selected for inspection based on MOM's risk profiling according to the industry and nature of work, and had not been informed of the spot check.
Stop-work orders typically have no specific duration. Companies will need to follow an action plan to rectify the safety issues and pass a follow-up inspection by MOM, after which the order will be lifted.
The Workplace Safety and Health Council has come up with new material for companies in terms of training and raising awareness on how to operate machinery safely, he added.
He cited two deaths in February of a boom operator and forklift operator who were unqualified to operate such machinery.
"(These cases) are reminders of why safety is important and why we must safeguard our workers," Mr Zaqy said.