Safety lapses found in first of 400 surprise inspections by MOM
Ministry stops all works at Seah Construction worksite, will take enforcement actions
During the first of 400 surprise inspections at worksites to be done by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), it found multiple safety lapses at one location on Friday last week.
And it was witnessed by Minister of State for Manpower Zaqy Mohamad who had gone to the Seah Construction worksite in Ang Mo Kio Avenue 5 with MOM's safety inspectors.
The inspection was the first of the 400 additional checks announced by MOM last month, following nine fatal workplace accidents in November.
It was the highest number of workplace fatalities in a month for this year.
Code-named Operation Jaeger, the inspections will target high-risk industries such as construction, marine and manufacturing from now till mid-February next year.
The lapses found on Friday included those relating to work at heights, scaffolding, formwork structures, excavation and housekeeping. MOM stopped all works at the site immediately.
Photos of the inspection, uploaded to MOM's Facebook page yesterday, showed piles of metal bars strewn dangerously across the site, a scaffold propped up on a thin block of wood and barricades that were ineffectively constructed.
In its post, MOM said it will be taking enforcement actions against the parties responsible and will allow operations to resume at the worksite once the company addresses the lapses and improves its safety management system.
This will take at least three weeks.
MOM said: "Such unsafe working conditions are unacceptable.
"The MOM takes such contraventions seriously and will continue to take a tough enforcement stance against those who put workers at risk."
The minister also posted on his own Facebook page on Friday, saying he was concerned with the stagnating workplace safety and health (WSH) performance of the construction industry.
Mr Zaqy revealed there were already 14 recorded fatalities in the construction industry alone this year.
"Every life matters," he said.
"We will continue to take a tough enforcement stance against unsafe firms. We also need every developer and contractor, no matter big or small, to do their part to uphold high WSH standards and safeguard their workers."