3 Workplace Deaths Have Occurred So Far in 2020; MOM Has Harsh Words for Companies


I am sure we all expect to come home from work safely every day.

It’s like a given; but unfortunately, not everyone comes home from work alive daily.

We’re only 19 days into the new year, and so far, there has been three workplace deaths.

3 Workplace Deaths Have Occurred So Far in 2020

With three deaths in such a short period, MOM said, “This does not augur well for workplace safety and health.”

In 2018, there were 41 workplace deaths. The numbers for the entirety of 2019 are not out yet, but from January 2019 to September 2019, there has been 25 workplace related death.

If you do the maths, 3 deaths in less than a month means that we could be seeing a spike in the number of workplace deaths in 2020: if it’s 5 per month, it would be a whopping 60 deaths.

And MOM is afraid that the number is set to increase before Chinese New Year, saying, “With the festive period approaching, some firms may ramp up work activities to meet deadlines. MOM reminds all companies of the need to review work practices and ensure that the necessary safeguards are in place. All workers deserve a safe working environment and to return home safe and healthy to their loved ones.”

How did the three deaths come about this year?


Crushed, Hit & Fell

According to MOM, the first incident occurred on 8 January 2020, when a group of workers was installing piles using a crawler crane at a construction site. The crane operator accidentally toppled a pallet of gas cylinders and it landed on a worker, killing him on the spot.

The second incident happened three days later, on 11 January 2020, when four workers were shifting a formwork structure. A runner fell from atop the formwork structure and struck one worker, who later died from his injuries in the hospital.

The third incident happened on sea, when a worker fell from a tugboat.

Complacency Led to Deaths

Inspections by MOM showed that there were companies that had safety lapses. Due to an influx in workplace deaths last November, they went on a two-month enforcement blitz, and as of now, stop-work orders were issued to four workplaces for hazards that posed imminent danger to workers.

These workplaces can’t resume operations for at least three weeks, and to continue, they would have to rectify the lapses and improve their workplace safety and health management systems.

MOM Has Harsh Words for Companies That Don’t Take Safety as Priority

MOM has harsh words for companies that are trying to take shortcuts: “We will sustain the momentum of our enforcement operation, taking a tough stance against those who put workers at risk.”

To know more about workplace safety, you might want to watch this video we’ve done with the labour union:

Because one death is one too many.


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