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108 fines issued, some firms slapped with Stop-Work Orders for safety violations: MOM

Action was taken against 174 firms over lapses found during a month-long operation conducted over June and July, the Manpower Ministry said on Wednesday.

SINGAPORE: The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has taken action against 174 companies for workplace safety violations uncovered during a Workplace Safety and Health enforcement operation.

The ministry conducted surprise inspections at 250 worksites in a month-long operation carried out over June and July this year. Of these, 60 were issued fines ranging from S$1,000 to S$13,000, with a total of 108 fines meted out, the ministry said in a press release on Wednesday (Aug 6).

Stop-Work Orders were also issued to four worksites with severe workplace safety violations. The four worksites are required to rectify the unsafe conditions and their workers will have to undergo refresher training before the Stop-Work Orders can be lifted.

Of the other 174 companies cited, other action taken included the issuing of notices of non-compliance, said the ministry.

According to the MOM, Work at Heights lapses continue to be a concern, with openings at work areas left unguarded and a lack of safe access to work areas among the common lapses. The ministry, however, found that most companies have already implemented the required Fall Prevention Plans and Permit to Work systems.

Mr Chan Yew Kwong, Director of MOM's Occupational Safety and Health Inspectorate, said: "Our inspections continue to uncover a range of Work At Heights lapses at worksites. In most cases, contractors could have avoided those lapses by carrying out the Fall Prevention Plans and Permit to Work processes properly. We urge contractors to take these processes seriously, and also ensure that control measures are implemented to mitigate Work at Heights risks."

Under the WSH Act, companies may be fined up to S$500,000 for the first offence for failing to ensure workplace safety and health. Individuals can also be fined up to S$200,000 and/or imprisoned up to 24 months for offences under the Act.

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