SINGAPORE: Local construction firm Synergy-Biz has been issued a composition fine of S$6,000 on top of a stop-work order, after multiple unsafe conditions were uncovered during a Ministry of Manpower (MOM) inspection of its premises.
On Aug 25, a lorry driver from the company was involved in a fatal accident.
The 65-year-old Singaporean man was run over by a forklift while loading it onto a lorry and securing it for transportation.
MOM's inspection of the premises, which was conducted the next day, was separate to the incident, the ministry said in a Facebook post on Tuesday (Sep 27).
MULTIPLE SAFETY LAPSES FOUND
The safety lapses found at Synergy-Biz posed danger to workers and "could have been easily rectified", said Senior Minister of State for Manpower Zaqy Mohamad.
In one incident, electrical casing and wiring were found to not be properly insulated and in poor condition.
MOM also found that some materials were stored haphazardly within the company's storage areas, and that some heavy machinery had expired lifting registrations.
"Several excavators were found with their ignition keys inserted in the ignition switches and left unattended," the ministry added.
Diesel storage tanks with no labels and warning signs, fire extinguishers not in working condition, and inadequate safe work procedures for transporting excavators were among other issues at Synergy-Biz highlighted by MOM.
Since the start of the year, Singapore has reported 37 workplace fatalities - the same number for the whole of last year, and exceeding the 30 deaths reported in 2020.
Amid the increased rate of fatal workplace accidents, MOM imposed the requirement of a mandatory safety-time out to review safety procedures, which companies must complete by Friday.
The Manpower Ministry will conduct compliance checks from Oct 1 and debar errant companies from employing new foreign employees for one month.
It has also introduced a six-month “heightened safety” period from Sep 1 till Feb 28, 2023.
"During this period of heightened safety, we have stepped up inspections and taken action against companies that have fallen short on safety," said Mr Zaqy.
"At the same time, to help firms, MOM continues to stand ready to support companies to enhance their safety practices and procedures through the StartSAFE programme."
Mr Zaqy added that MOM will subsidise its efforts for SMEs, to aid in their safety efforts.