Singapore

Worker deaths from vehicular-related incidents may be fewer this year

The number of workers killed in vehicular-related incidents in the workplace this year is on track to be lower than last year, with five recorded as at the end of last month.

This is two fewer than that for the whole of last year.

Enforcement efforts by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), along with better management of vehicular-related risks by businesses, have helped to bring the number of fatalities down, said Minister of State for Manpower and National Development Zaqy Mohamad yesterday.

"We've seen the number of incidents for fatalities drop from 24 in 2013, down to seven last year. We are currently at five for this year, so we hope that it still remains that way. Every fatality is one death too many," he told reporters during a visit to the Allied Container Group premises in Tuas.

He added that vehicular incidents were the top cause of workplace fatalities from 2013 to 2017. It fell to second place last year, replaced by fall from heights.

Mr Zaqy also said MOM has "gone stronger on enforcement" this year. It carried out special operations last month to identify and take action against companies that contravene regulations.

A total of 240 companies in industries where traffic hazards are common, such as wholesale trade, were inspected. Action taken against 160 of them included fines, stop-work orders and notices of non-compliance.

Common regulatory breaches included failure to implement a proper traffic management plan and maintain the vehicles used in the workplace.

Apart from enforcement, there are also engagement efforts between the Government and the industry players to manage vehicular-related risks.

The Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Council's logistics and transport committee will organise the Annual WSH Forum for Logistics and Transport Sector next year.

A new series of educational materials to promote proper access and exit from heavy-vehicle cabins will also be produced.

Yesterday, Allied Container Services showcased its initiatives to improve vehicular safety, including an Auto Quicklock System. The system is the first of its kind in Singapore and enables a container to be properly locked onto a trailer with just a switch.

This means drivers no longer have to alight and physically check if containers are properly locked, removing the need for them to walk in operational areas like ports and container depots.

Employment