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Singapore workplace safety breaches hit 9,000 in first six months of 2022

Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM) took enforcement action against more than 9,000 workplace safety breaches in the first half of 2022, according to a recent report.

According to Manpower Minister Dr Tan See Leng’s written response to parliamentary questions, this was twice the number of workplace safety breaches than over the same period in 2021.

Since the start of the year, there have also been 28 workplace deaths, an increase of 65% compared to the same period in 2019. Falls from heights and vehicular incidents made up about half of these fatalities. Approximately 80% of the workplace deaths in 2022 occurred in sectors with "higher-risk" work environments, such as construction, logistics, marine, and manufacturing.

Most of these accidents involved small and medium-sized companies and resulted from “preventable safety lapses” such as poor controls or failure to follow safe work procedures.

Mayumi Soh of Pinsent Masons MPillay, the Singapore joint law venture between MPillay and Pinsent Masons said: “Employers should take workplace safety seriously, as there is not just a legal cost, but a human cost involved. Employers who are unsure about their obligations should seek advice without hesitation.”

Local workers are encouraged to report unsafe workplace conditions or behaviours to their supervisors or employers, or directly to MOM. The identities of those making reports will kept confidential. Employers cannot fire or threaten to fire workers who have reported workplace safety and health issues.

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