Skip to main content
Best News Website or Mobile Service
WAN-IFRA Digital Media Awards Worldwide
Best News Website or Mobile Service
Digital Media Awards Worldwide
Hamburger Menu




15 companies temporarily barred from hiring foreign workers during heightened safety period: MOM

The Ministry of Manpower has also issued more than 760 composition fines and 48 stop-work orders since the heightened safety period began in September.

15 companies temporarily barred from hiring foreign workers during heightened safety period: MOM

Roadworks being carried out in Singapore. (Photo: CNA/Gaya Chandramohan)

SINGAPORE: Fifteen companies were prohibited from hiring new foreign employees for up to three months during a heightened safety period to tackle rising workplace fatalities, Minister for Manpower Tan See Leng said on Monday (Feb 6).

The companies were found to have workplace safety and health (WSH) lapses after serious or fatal workplace incidents during the six-month heightened safety period which was imposed in September 2022. The intervention is in place until the end of February, and the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is considering an extension of the heightened safety period.

The chief executive officers of the 15 companies had to “personally account” to the MOM to take responsibility for the rectifications, Dr Tan said in a written parliamentary reply in response to questions on safety in workplaces.

The MOM also issued more than 760 composition fines and 48 stop-work orders to errant companies so far.

There were 46 workplace deaths in 2022, the highest number since 2016 when there were 66 fatalities. In 2021, 37 workplace deaths were reported. There were 30 in 2020 and 39 in 2019.

The fatality rate in 2022 was 1.3 per 100,000 workers, compared to 1.1 per 100,000 workers in 2021 and in 2019.

“Overall, the (heightened safety period) measures have helped to abate the spate of workplace fatalities,” Dr Tan said.

The annualised fatality rate per 100,000 workers was 1.5 for January to August last year and was reduced to 0.8 for September to December when the heightened safety measures were in place.

“This suggests that with sufficient resolve, the industry can keep the fatality rate below 1.0 per 100,000 workers, which is our WSH 2028 aspiration,” he said.

While the major injury rate for 2022 improved compared to previous years, the annualised major injury rate worsened during the heightened safety period.

“More needs to be done to bring us back on track to our WSH 2028 target of less than 12.0 per 100,000 workers,” he said. The rate was 17.3 in 2022, 18.5 in 2021 and 18.1 in 2019.

Last month, MOM said the number of major injuries increased from an average of 49.1 per month from January to August last year to 55.3 per month from September to December.


In the construction sector, there was a 21 per cent improvement in enforcement actions per inspection after introducing a harmonised set of disqualification criteria across public sector construction tenders and enhancing a demerit point system for construction companies, Dr Tan said.

But despite showing the “most improvement”, the construction industry remained the “top contributor” for workplace fatalities and major injuries in 2022, he said.

For the manufacturing sector, the monthly average number of fatal and major injuries increased during the heightened safety period.

The average number of major injuries in transportation and storage, and higher-risk services industries also worsened.

Of the fatal and major workplace injuries in 2022, 80 per cent were from traditionally higher-risk industries – construction, manufacturing, transportation and storage, and some service industries, Dr Tan said.

More than 60 per cent of fatalities were a result of falls from height, vehicular incidents and crane-related incidents. These were mainly due to inadequate control measures or safety procedures, poor implementation of control measures and unsafe behaviours.

Based on inspections last year, the MOM also found some common safety breaches to do with hoisting operations.

Examples include failing to ensure lifting equipment is properly tested and examined before use, lack of planning and establishment of lifting procedures and non-compliance to lifting plans.

“We will work with industry to study further how to address these gaps,” Dr Tan said.

Overall, Dr Tan said there has been some improvement, but “we need to remain alert and maintain our vigilance”.

“Every worker deserves a safe and healthy working environment.

“All of us, corporate senior leadership, industry associations, union leaders and workers, must continue to play our part to uplift WSH.”

Source: CNA/an(rj)


Also worth reading