WRITTEN BY PRIYA SUNIL
MOM WILL BE GAZETTING THIS CODE OF PRACTICE (COP) AS AN APPROVED COP BY OCTOBER THIS YEAR — THIS MEANS THAT IN THE EVENT OF A WSH ACT OFFENCE, THE COURTS CAN CONSIDER COMPLIANCE TO THIS APPROVED COP IN THEIR JUDGMENT.
Speaking at the Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Conference 2022 on Monday (19 September 2022), Singapore’s Minister for Manpower (MOM) Dr Tan See Leng has officially launched a code of practice (COP) to help management teams shape the WSH culture in their companies.
Starting off his speech, Minister Tan shared that from the start of 2022 up to the date of the speech, there have been 37 workplace fatalities – the same number for the whole of 2021. He further elaborated that most of these accidents were due to preventable safety lapses, such as inadequate control measures or lack of adherence to safe work procedures.
Addressing this “disheartening” safety record, Minister Tan commented: “The economy has been re-opening well; but conversely, our WSH performance has gotten off to a rocky start.”
“I know companies are struggling with some of the after-effects of COVID-19, such as the rush to meet deadlines, and manpower constraints. These factors will continue to weigh heavily over the next few months. But addressing them cannot come at the expense of safety.”
Recognising the urgent need to refocus attention and vigilance on WSH, Singapore recently announced a “heightened safety” period of six months, with MOM introducing unprecedented measures, such as the mandatory Safety Time-Out, and the upfront debarment from hiring migrant workers should there be any serious WSH lapses found following an accident.