}

15 July 2022

Public Prosecutor v Manta Equipment (S) Pte Ltd [2022] SGHC 157

In Public Prosecutor v Manta Equipment (S) Pte Ltd (“Manta Equipment”), a three-judge coram of the General Division of the Singapore High Court (“High Court”) reviewed and revised the sentencing framework for breaches of an employer’s duty to take reasonably practicable measures to ensure the safety and health of its employees, i.e. offences under section 12(1) read with section 20 of the Workplace and Safety and Health Act 2006 (“WSHA”).

The High Court reviewed the sentencing frameworks in Public Prosecutor v GS Engineering & Construction Corp [2016] SGHC 276 (“GS Engineering”) and MW Group Pte Ltd v Public Prosecutor [2019] SGHC 5 (“MW Group”) and set out a new sentencing framework with ranges of fines higher than the sentencing frameworks applied in GS Engineering and MW Group previously.

 

Culpability

Low

Moderate

High

Harm

High

S$150,000 to S$225,000

S$225,000 to S$300,000

S$300,000 to S$500,000

Moderate

S$75,000 to S$150,000

S$150,000 to S$225,000

S$225,000 to S$300,000

Low

Up to S$75,000

S$75,000 to S$150,000

S$150,000 to S$225,000


Applying the new sentencing framework, the High Court held that a fine of S$250,000 was appropriate. This was an increase of S$30,000 from the fine imposed by the District Court.

The High Court’s decision in Manta Equipment relates to employers who are body corporates. However, the High Court provisionally indicated their view that the sentencing approach should, in principle, apply to all offences under Part 4 of the WSHA punishable under section 50 of the WSHA. This would include breaches by, amongst others, occupiers of workplaces, principals, and manufacturers and suppliers of machinery, equipment or hazardous substances. 

Read our full article here.