In a major indictment of SMRT, Ministry of Manpower (MOM) in Singapore has revealed that the train operator did not comply with laid out operating procedures for ensuring safety of its workers for the last 14 years. SMRT was also fined a whopping SGD 400,000 after it pleaded guilty for safety violations which led to the death of two workers last year.
This fact came to light when Ministry started investigations of the accident that killed two workers on the train tracks near Pasir Ris MRT Station on March 16, 2016.
SMRT has not complied with the operating procedures since 2002. Further, it has also failed to maintain proper records dealing with adherence to the laid-out procedures for ensuring safety of workers.
In a statement, MOM said, “SMRT has failed to ensure that procedures practised by employees on the ground were duly audited, documented and disseminated. This resulted in an unsafe workplace that eventually led to the death of two of its employees. The stiff sentence imposed serves as a deterrence against companies that do not exercise sufficient diligence in implementing a workplace safety and health management system.”
Chan Yew Kwong, director of MOM’s Occupational Safety and Health Inspectorate, said, “Companies need to manage workplace safety and health risks in order to protect their employees. Many workplace injuries and fatalities can be traced to organisational and system failures in the overall management of workplace safety.”
Meanwhile, National Transport Workers’ Union has also expressed concern about the safety of workers and has observed that “SMRT will take a serious view on workplace safety issues.”