Ref No: 210122 (2)
Key highlights from recent news on COVID-19, MOM, Workplace Safety and Health, Cybersecurity, and Sustainability below.
1/1: Exemption of Rostered Routine Testing for Fully Vaccinated COVID-19 Recovered Workers
With effect from 17 January 2022, COVID-19 recovered workers who are fully vaccinated before 15 January 2022, will be exempted from Rostered Routine Testing (RRT) until further notice. The changes apply to the following groups:
- Are workers residing in the dormitories;
- Are personnel working in the Construction, Marine and Process (CMP) sectors except for border facing workers (regardless of vaccination status) who are put on 3-Day Fast and Easy Testing Rostered Routine Testing (FET RRT) cycle; and
- Are frontline workers working in the dormitories and recreation centres.
The latest RRT exemption takes into consideration that fully vaccinated recovered persons have better protection against the COVID-19 virus, and are at lower risk of symptomatic or severe disease if infected.
The Ministry of Manpower
1/1: Overworking, eldercare leave, and mental first aid responders
Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower has recently responded to parliamentary questions on various topics such as overworking, flexible work arrangements for caregivers, and mental first aid responders.
Firstly, on questions pertaining to overwork and its contribution to workplace fatalities, MOM prefaced its response by stating that each incidence of workplace fatality is investigated to determine any contributing cause. In case of suspected overwork, investigations even extend to include examination of the work schedules of deceased workers.
With these investigations, MOM had uncovered an average of five fatal cases per year, or 12% of total fatalities, where excessive work hours were suspected. However there is insufficient evidence to link long working hours or fatigue to any fatal workplace accidents, even so “investigators will continue to examine for possible links in every new case that comes up”.
WORKPLACE SAFETY & HEALTH
1/2: WSH Council launches work safety video, chemical industry leaders pledge to provide safe workplace
Continuing its drive to reduce and prevent workplace injuries here, the Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Council launched a video to encourage employers, workers, unions in all sectors, and the Government to aim for zero workplace accidents.
The Vision Zero video, produced by WSH, was launched at the inaugural WSH leadership convention in Resorts World Convention Centre on Thursday (Jan 20). The fully animated video highlighted the importance of workers’ well-being and safety, and how accidents can be prevented.
It is part of the Vision Zero movement, which was launched in 2018 with the Jurong Island Vision Zero (JIVZ) Cluster to advocate for workplace safety. At the convention, the pledges of chemical industry leaders who committed to providing a safe and healthy working environment for their employees were also presented.
Among the companies that pledged their commitment to a safer workplace were oil major ExxonMobil, Mitsubishi Chemical Methacrylates Singapore and Shell Eastern Petroleum.
2/2: Man dies after ladder slips in Yishun workplace accident
A 59-year-old worker died when a ladder he was on slipped during a workplace accident last month, said the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) on Wednesday (Jan 19).
The accident, which occurred at 1024 Yishun Industrial Park A on Dec 24, happened when he was descending from the ladder which was leaning against the edge of a mezzanine level. The ladder slipped, causing the worker to fall and hit his head against the floor.
He was subsequently taken to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, where he died three days later. According to an alert from the Workplace Safety and Health Council (WSHC) on Jan 19, the man had fallen about 1.7m from the unsecured A-frame ladder.
1/1: At least 1,200 phishing scams reported since December as e-wallet con makes a comeback
Since December last year, at least 1,200 cases of phishing scams have been reported, and a scam variant involving e-wallet applications has re-emerged, said the police on Thursday (Jan 13).
The scammers would apply for e-wallets with information gathered from victims who had received unsolicited calls on messaging applications such as WhatsApp, Viber and IMO, the police said in a media release. It is not known how many of the 1,200 cases were e-wallet scams.
The callers would claim to be from a government agency such as the Singapore Police Force or Ministry of Manpower. They would often display the official insignia or profile pictures of officers from these agencies. Some would even start a video call while wearing a uniform similar to those worn by police officers.
1/1: Singapore firms will get time to adapt to higher carbon tax
A higher carbon price will spur large emitters in Singapore to cut their carbon footprint, but adjustments to the country’s carbon tax must be done carefully to give firms time to adapt and stay competitive, said two ministers on Wednesday (Jan 12).
Speaking during a parliamentary debate on Singapore’s green transition, Trade and Industry Minister Gan Kim Yong said the correct carbon price will guide investment decisions and spur companies to decarbonise.
“But it will also come with higher costs for businesses and consumers. We should calibrate and pace the adjustment carefully, to give companies sufficient time to adapt and stay competitive,” he added.