Speaking at a worker safety forum in the City today (June 19), Mr Nhan said for all last year the number of work related deaths was 98 and the recent spate of fatalities has raised deep concerns.
The Department will continue to take strong enforcement actions against errant employers and will prosecute those who are found liable for the accidents, he said. We are calling on employers and workers to work together to take all necessary measures to prevent further workplace accidents.
Human error was a key cause of many of the fatalities, he noted.
Much of the problem comes down to mere carelessness or fatigue on the part of workers and some of it is negligence and complacency on the part of safety officers, he added.
A company can have many standard operating procedures but it boils down to every single worker and safety officer always practicing safety first and foremost. He called for the training quality for safety officers to be enhanced.
While a company can engender a safety culture among its own workers, they also need to ensure they engage their subcontractors in systems, structures and processes that promote work safety, he continued.
Safety bulletins put up at sites can be too wordy. Safety officers need to translate things to workers at team meetings, in bite-size pieces of information. He also called for increased safety inspections and a doubling the number of officers doing checks.