Workplace safety officials in Singapore have not turned a blind eye to injuries in the workplace.
The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) stated it is concerned about the recent spate of serious accidents caused by malpractices in erecting formwork structures.
MOM said it would step up worksite inspections to check on unsafe practices involving formwork structures from Jan. 20, 2014. MOM issued an advisory to Professional Engineers (PEs) on Jan. 18 to remind them of their obligations in the design, construction and inspection of formwork structures
Recently, two accidents involving formwork structures took place at separate construction worksites.
While the investigation into these accidents are in progress, preliminary findings showed that the formwork structures gave way during the concrete casting process, indicating that the structures were unable to support the load imposed on them during the casting process.
Officials noted it was fortunate that there were no serious injuries arising from these accidents. Such dangerous occurrences can have catastrophic consequences and result in significant loss of lives. It is imperative to weed out unsafe practices involving formwork structures.
Inspections of Construction Worksites to Increase
In light of the recent accidents, officials said construction worksite inspections would be stepped up.
The stepped-up inspections will target formwork practices at construction worksites, such as unsafe design of formwork structures, improper erection of formwork structures, incompatible formwork components, and improper supervision and inspection of formwork structures. The enforcement effort will be carried out island-wide over two weeks. These are in addition to MOM’s regular checks on formwork structures as part of its construction safety inspections.
According to Senior Parliamentary Secretary (Ministry of Manpower and Ministry of Education) Hawazi Daipi, “The construction sector is a high-risk industry. Safety must be the top priority. We were fortunate that there were no serious injuries in the two accidents that occurred over the past week. But, contractors and PEs must give attention to safety practices involving formwork structures. MOM officers will be stepping up their inspections of worksites. We will take errant occupiers of worksites and employers to task. I urge all employers to fulfill your obligations to keep your workers safe.”
Author Kori Shafer-Stack, Editor, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in post-injury response procedures and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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