Knowledge Highlights 5 June 2023
The Heightened Safety Period (“HSP”), which was implemented by the Ministry of Manpower (“MOM”) from 1 September 2022, ended on 31 May 2023 with no further extension.
MOM announced the exit from the HSP at the launch of the National Workplace Safety and Health (“WSH”) Campaign 2023, stating that the HSP had served its purpose as an urgent call on employers to prioritise safety and bring down workplace fatalities. MOM had announced the implementation of HSP measures on 1 September 2022 to address the spate of workplace fatalities and strengthen WSH and improve WSH oversight.
To strengthen WSH ownership on a sustained basis and build a strong safety culture among all stakeholders to further improve WSH outcomes, the Multi-Agency Workplace Safety Taskforce will retain certain HSP measures and implement new measures. These measures are aimed at the sector, company and worker levels and will be implemented over the next six to 12 months. They include:
- Introducing more stringent safety requirements in Government Procurement Entities’ (GPEs) public construction and construction related tenders, and new measures such as a WSH bonus scheme for projects above a certain Estimated Procurement Value to incentivise good safety performance.
- Expanding the Demerit Point System for the construction sector to the manufacturing sector to deter WSH breaches and uplift standards practices.
- Other sectoral measures such as requiring video surveillance systems at construction sites with a project value of S$5 million or more, ensuring safe use of machinery and combustible dust, and enhancing vehicular safety involving lorry cranes and forklifts.
- Retaining selected HSP measures such as requiring Chief Executives (“CEs”) of companies to personally account to MOM for serious WSH lapses and requiring companies which have been issued a Stop Work Order to engage external auditors to conduct a thorough review of their WSH processes.
- Requiring CEs and Board Directors of all companies in higher-risk industries to attend the new Top Executive WSH Programme, to focus their attention on how to meet their WSH responsibilities.
Details of the new measures with the expected implementation timelines can be found in the Annex to the MOM press release.
While the HSP has ended, all stakeholders - the Government, employers, workers, service buyers, suppliers and members of the public - should continue to do their respective parts to prevent workplace incidents. This will aid in achieving Singapore’s WSH 2028 goal of keeping the fatality rate at below 1.0 per 100,000 workers, and more importantly, to help ensure safe and healthy workplaces for workers and save lives.
The following materials are available the MOM website www.mom.gov.sg: