Construction company fined $130,000 for repeated safety lapses at work-site
MOM announced a fine of $130,000 yesterday to construction firm Kingsford Construction Pte Ltd under the Workplace Safety and Health Act for multiple safety lapses at a work-site. Kindsford Construction Pte Ltd had been carrying out construction works at Hillview Condominium.
According to MOM, Hillview had been fined $10,000 and $19,000 respectively due to safety lapses such as open sides and staircases without handrails (that could lead to fall from heights) uncovered in two previous inspections done in October 2014 and May 2015. They also received a SWO.
The most recent inspection by MOM last year had uncovered the following safety lapses and some are repeated. A full SWO was issued on 18th July last year.
- Open sides at eight different locations (ranging from the 2nd to the 11th floor of various blocks under construction) were not covered or guarded by effective guard-rails or barriers to prevent fall from heights;
- Staircases not provided with handrails, exposing persons to the risk of falling off the edge of either side of the staircase;
- Staircases not provided with emergency lighting for use in the event of a power failure, exposing workers to the risk of tripping as some of the steps of the staircase were undergoing modification works;
- Poor housekeeping at multiple places of work in worksite, exposing workers to risk of tripping; and
- Safety interlock of several passenger and material hoists at the worksite were not properly functioning; the gates of the hoists could be opened when the platform was elevated from the landing position, exposing persons to risks of falling down the way or coming
MOM’s director of Occupational Safety and Health Inspectorate, Mr Chan Yew Kwong, said: “MOM sought for a heavy penalty because of Kingsford’s blatant disregard for safety and its repeated failures to comply with our regulatory requirements.into contact with moving parts of the hoists.”
Base on statistics from MOM, during the first half of 2017, a total of 4,300 workplace safety and health violations were uncovered, with 28 companies ordered to stop operations. a sum of $500,000 fines were imposed on companies on the spot.
The increased punishment and strengthened enforcement on workplace safety will surely impact the entire construction industry tremendously. Ensuring a safe work environment does not only fulfill government requirements, but most importantly, protecting your employees and yourself, minimizing the risks of being fined and issued a Stop Work Order.
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“Construction firm fined $130,000 for repeated safety lapses at Hillview Condo work-site” Straits Times, 3 August 2017