Fine for carrying out high-risk construction without Permit-To-Work

Permit-To-Work aka PTW system is a used in a workplace and/or construction site to ensure that any high-risks works are being carried out with the acknowledgement of project manager and safety assessors. Below are the 7 kinds of general building / engineering related works that requires PTW in Singapore;

  1. Demolition work
  2. Excavation and trenching work in tunnel or hole in ground exceed depth of 1.5 metres.
  3. Lifting operations (Mobile Crane, Crawler Crane, Tower Cranes, etc.)
  4. Piling works
  5. Tunneling works
  6. Working on a scaffold where a person could fall more than 2 metres
  7. Working in confined space.

Any person carry out the high-risk work without permit-to-work issue by the project manager shall be guilty of an offence and liable to be fined not exceeding S$ 20,000.

Workplace Safety & Health (Construction) Regulations

7 Points to avoid fine for failure to comply WSH Risk Management Regulations

Wef from 1st September 2006, the Workplace Safety & Health in Singapore has make Risk Management a must for any employer, self-employed person or principal (main contractor and/or sub-contractor). There are 7 points which have to be taken note of so as not to be fine by the WSH. 

  1. Risk assessment has to be conducted for all work in the workplace.
  2. Reasonable practical measures to eliminate or reduce safety and health risks.
  3. Establish administrative method in the means of Safe Work Procedures (SWP) if risks cannot be eliminated immediately
  4. Specified roles and responsibilities of individuals involved in implementation of risk control measure and SWP.
  5. Record keeping of all risk assessment. Minimum 3 years records.
  6. Informal to employees and/or workers of the risks involved, controls and/or SWP developed. It can be in the means of safety committees or toolbox meeting. 
  7. Review or revise of risk assessment.

Failure to comply will result penalty for first offence fine up to S$10,000. For second and subsequent offence, offender may be fined up to S$20,000 and/or jail up to 6 months.

Failure to comply with Remedial or Stop Work Order

In Singapore, the workplace or sites is governed by the Commissioner for Workplace Safety and Health. The Commissioner has the authority to inspect the workplace and if there is any non-compliance to safety aspects in the job site, they have the definite right to issue three kinds of Orders below;

Remedial Order

The Remedial Orderis issued by the Commissioner which requires the employer or occupier to eliminate the workplace risk or comply with a safe work practice.

Person failure to comply will result a maximum fine of S$50,000 and/or maximum imprisonment of 12 months. If the employer or occupier continues after the conviction, an additional of S$5,000 will be fined daily.

Stop Work Order

When the Commissioner inspect and found out a unsafe act that could be immediate danger to workers and/or public, they can cease the specified work until the employer / occupier carried out adequate safety measures. Depending on the scope of unsafe work, Stop Work Order can means a stop in a specified work or applies to the entire construction site. It would be definitely a time loss for the employer / occupiers.

Person failure to comply will result a maximum fine of S$500,000 and/or maximum imprisonment of 12 months. If the employer or occupier continues after the conviction, ad additional of S$20,000 will be fine daily.

Composition Fine

Depending on the type of offences committed, the fine can be determined at the Commissioner’s discretion.

The fine amount will be a sum not more than half the maximum fine prescribed or S$5,000, which ever is lower. Prosecution actions will be taken if the fine is not clear timely. 

Director paid highest fine meted for causing workplace fatality.

Singapore’s Workplace Safety and Health Act has fined a company and its Director S$ 200,000 and S$100,000 respectively for failing to implement safety and health meausure that contributed to a workplace fatality. To-date, both fines are the highest ever recorded for single charge under WSHA.

The company was supplying and installing aluminium doors, windows and glazings at a worksite. On the day of the accident, one supervisor and two workers were tasked to unload 8 crates of glass panels from a container.

The unloading was involved using a forklift to pull, with the help webbing sling and when each crate slightly being pulled out of the container, a overhead crane to hoist the crate away. During the process, 2 workers would stand inside the container and use wooden planks to support the crate as it was being pulled out.

Though the workers managed to unload five crates of the eight crates from container. Unfortunately, one of the wooden planks held by one of the workers broke and as the crate toppled, one of the workers was pinned under the crate of glass panels and was crushed to death.

Findings from Ministry of Manpower showed that the unloading method was unsafe and the company and its director did not take any initiative to establish safe work procedures though they were aware that the unloading process was unsafe.

Singapore has been implementing strict control over Workplace Safety & Health as the government saw an increase in workplace accidents and increasing numbers of fatalities.

1. Jurong Port Safety Bulletin No. 10-09 – Oct 2010