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MOM takes action against 276 companies for lapses in machinery safety

SINGAPORE — Some 850 enforcement actions have been taken against 276 companies in the manufacturing, construction and marine sectors, following inspections conducted by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) in the months of April and May this year.

MOM takes action against 276 companies for lapses in machinery safety

Preliminary findings from these incidents showed that there were inadequate safety provisions at the workplace “such as the lack of proper machine guarding and risk management”.

SINGAPORE — Some 850 enforcement actions have been taken against 276 companies in the manufacturing, construction and marine sectors, following inspections conducted by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) in the months of April and May this year.

In a media release on Thursday (June 21), the MOM said it mounted the two-month enforcement operation to target machinery safety and to “address hand and finger injuries at the workplace”. The operation followed the Safe Hands Campaign that was launched in January this year.

In all, of the 350 companies inspected, 276 had 850 enforcement actions taken against them. Six Stop-Work Orders were also issued, while 78 composition fines that amounted to S$91,000 were handed out, said the MOM.

In the first five months of this year, the MOM said that there were 30 machinery-related injuries. It added that the preliminary findings from these incidents showed that there were inadequate safety provisions at the workplace “such as the lack of proper machine guarding and risk management”.

“From 2014 to 2017, the construction, metalworking, and marine sectors were the top three sectors that accounted for most of the machinery-related cases. The majority of these accidents occurred during the use of electrical hand tools, saws and handling of metal items,” said Mr Sebastian Tan, director of occupational safety and health inspectorate at MOM.

He added: “The MOM will continue to target inspections in the manufacturing, construction and marine sectors, to ensure that employers improve machinery safety and eliminate amputation risks at workplaces.”

Last year, machinery-related incidents were the second leading cause of major injuries at the workplace with 74 cases, said the MOM, just behind falls. Workers were either struck by, caught in-between, cut or stabbed by machines and tools.

It added that 90 per cent of those cases resulted in amputation.

Under the WSH Act, companies that fail to take reasonably practicable measures to ensure the safety and health of their workers can be fined up to $500,000 for the first offence.

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