MOM orders 7 companies in high-risk industries to stop work over workplace safety concerns

The operation has been extended to cover another 300 inspections.

Nigel Chua | February 24, 2021, 04:10 PM

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) revealed in a Facebook post on Feb. 24 that a series of 400 inspections were conducted between mid-December 2020 and mid-February 2021.

The inspections were launched after a spate of workplace accidents in November and December of 2020.

Part of MOM's "Operation Robin", the inspections targeted "high risk industries" such as construction, manufacturing, and marine.

A common offence committed by the errant companies was their failure to maintain the control panel and information labels on machinery, affecting the safe operation of the machinery.

A scissor lift's control panel covered with dried cement. Photo via MOM on Facebook.

Offences relating to work at heights

MOM said that its inspections also revealed offences relating to work at heights.

Workers were placed at risk of falling from height due to "unguarded open sides". Photo via MOM on Facebook.

Inspections found openings where persons could fall through to the level below. Photo via MOM on Facebook.

486 contraventions and seven Stop-Work Orders

The 400 inspections resulted in MOM uncovering 486 contraventions.

The ministry also issued seven companies Stop-Work Orders (SWO).

For example, Kian Hua Hardware Pte Ltd was highlighted by MOM to have forklifts that were "not effectively managed and controlled".

Forklifts' ignition keys were left within the vehicles. Photo via MOM on Facebook.

Other issues observed at the workplace included unsafe electrical installations, unsafe stacking and storage as well as the lack of machine guarding.

Another company issued with a SWO was Mass Engineering Pte Ltd, where MOM found that excavators were poorly maintained.

An excavator was found to have missing tracks. Photo via MOM on Facebook.

Other findings leading to the SWO included unsafe electrical installations and unsafe stockpiling of debris, said MOM.

Additional 300 inspections

MOM said that the operation would be extended to cover another 300 inspections till mid-March 2021, in response to the fatal accidents in February 2021.

There have already been seven fatal workplace accidents in Singapore this month, said Senior Minister of State for Manpower Zaqy Mohamad on Monday (Feb. 22), calling it a "worrying trend for the year ahead".

MOM said that it would place "greater focus on tackling the common infringements found of work-at-heights risk and safe use of machinery."

Top photo via MOM on Facebook