Keeping employees safe and sound: On patrol with workplace safety inspectors

Keeping employees safe and sound: On patrol with workplace safety inspectors

They visit workplaces to make sure they are safe for workers and meet with a variety of employers – from friendly to hostile ones. Channel NewsAsia’s Fann Sim followed them for a day as they conducted surprise inspections.

SINGAPORE: In two cars, four safety inspectors pulled up outside a warehouse, about the size of three basketball courts, in Joo Koon Circle.

“Where is the front gate? Why are there no directional signs?” asked 24-year-old Siti Hajar Salim in a perplexed tone. She was taking the lead in the operation and was acting as navigator to her buddy-mentor Aidil Mohamed Riduan, 39.

The group is from the Ministry of Manpower’s Occupational Safety and Health Division, and they were inspecting a supply company. The division has already carried out more than 2,600 inspections this year.

The inspection, carried out earlier this month, was part of Operation Junco which targets workplaces where there are greater risks from accidents involving vehicles, such as warehouses, shipyards, construction worksites and delivery businesses.

The focus on such businesses comes against a backdrop of incidents involving vehicles being the leading cause of fatal injuries at work for the past three years. There were 14 such deaths in 2017 and they included being struck by moving vehicles, work-related traffic incidents on public roads and being caught in between vehicles.

The supply company occupying the warehouse space was last visited in August 2016, and was due for a new inspection, said the MOM officers. Two years ago, the company flouted several safety regulations and was let off with a warning.


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