The law of Workplace Safety and Health (Amendment) Act 2017 (WHS act) in Singapore was passed by Parliament on 6 November 2017 and assented to by the President on 7 December 2017.
Some key changes have been made as follows:
- From 2018 onwards, breaching the work safety law will lead to heavier penalty/fines of up to $50,000 (more than double the previous maximum of $20,000). Up to 2-years imprisonment may also be imposed. Sam Tan, the Minister of State for Manpower, emphasized that the changes are to prevent accidents.
- The commissioner for the law may publish a “learning report” on incidents to prevent recurrence of such incidents. The report may include an account of the incidents, an expert opinion, a risk warning and indication of implicated parties, and recommendations to prevent similar accidents.
The WHS act was originally enacted by Ministry of Manpower in 2006 and was revised in 2009. It strives to protect the safety and health of persons in workplaces by defining responsibilities of each stakeholder, group- employers, occupiers, employees and self-employed. Apart from that, the scope of WHS act also includes hazardous substances, machinery, and equipment (details could be found in section 16 of the Law).