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Construction firms urged to call for safety time-out after 3 workplace fatalities in 2 days

THE Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Council and the Singapore Contractors Association Ltd (SCAL) are urgently calling all construction companies to conduct a safety time-out exercise after three workplace fatalities occurred in a short span of two days this week.

The fatalities could have easily been prevented if proper risk assessments had been carried out and site personnel had been vigilant, clear-minded and had maintained a high level of safety awareness at all times, WSH Council and SCAL said in an advisory on Friday.

"Many supervisors and workers have just returned to worksites after a long absence due to the 'circuit breaker'. Some complacency may have set in, or safety processes might have been overlooked," SCAL president Ng Yek Meng said in a separate press statement.

John Ng, the chairman of the WSH Council, said conducting a safety time-out exercise will help industry stakeholders review all existing workplace safety and health processes and address any potential lapses.

The exercise involves taking stock of construction activities and safety protocols. This includes reviewing the stability of structures and supports, ensuring equipment is in good working condition and providing refresher training to workers.

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"This will ensure that WSH measures are robust and adequate, especially when approaching the year-end festive period where companies attempt to meet work deadlines before the holidays start," said Mr Ng.

The WSH Council and SCAL noted that every accident will cause further delays and tighter deadlines for construction projects. It is asking companies to complete their safety time-out exercises as soon as possible, or at least before Dec 23 when the festive season kicks in.

It has requested that companies indicate their schedules for conducting the exercises in an online form by Dec 11.

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