Singapore takes Safety Time-Out

News Story
- 12 May 2022 ( #1076 ) - Singapore
1 min read
Singapore slows for safety PHOTO:STB
Singapore slows for safety PHOTO:STB

The Singapore Ministry of Manpower has called on businesses to enforce a national Safety Time-Out (STO) for the next two weeks in response to recent accidents, including forklift deaths.

The STO began on May 9 and requires “a pause in work for senior management to engage workers and unions in reinforcing WSH processes, and to act on any issues raised”. 

“This STO also urges senior management to ensure that learning points from past accidents are shared with all workers. Doing so enables all parties to be aligned in their goals towards achieving better WSH practices,” says a ministry statement.

The STO specifically targets work at heights and powered equipment including forklifts. 

The move follows “a recent worrying spate of workplace fatalities across various industries, with 10 in April 2022 alone”.

The Ministry reports 20 fatal cases so far in 2022 - three involving forklifts. 

“Preliminary investigations revealed that a common factor among these fatalities was that basic safety and health control measures – such as wearing of seat belts in forklifts, or fall protection gear while working at heights – were either inadequate or not in place at all,” according to the statement. “Lives would have been saved if these well-established control measures were taken.”

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