SINGAPORE: The Land Transport Authority (LTA) is tightening safety controls for all new rail and road projects.
Starting with the Thomson Line train network, companies will need to put in place a Behaviour—Based Safety programme.
The new contractual requirement is among the safety enhancements being implemented as 42 construction firms pledge on Tuesday to reduce worksite accidents to zero.
Behaviour—Based Safety programmes call employers to proactively correct risky behaviour at work when it is observed, so safe working attitudes can be reinforced among workers to cultivate a good safety culture.
Such programmes call employers to proactively correct risky behaviour at work so that safe working attitudes can be reinforced among workers to cultivate a good safety culture.
And as more firms implement such programmes, Minister of State for Transport and Finance, Josephine Teo, said project deadlines should not force a compromise on safety.
"There is a constant need to be reminded not to take shortcuts, not to neglect procedures or measures that protect worker safety. In fact, we need to strengthen the culture of safety, and strive for excellence in safety management," said Mrs Teo.
Under an existing Safety Performance Scheme, contractors working on a project with a good safety record can qualify for bonus payouts of up to S$1.25 million.
Conversely, poor performers, where safety is concerned, will get a discounted contractual payout.
LTA will raise the respective cap for bonus payouts and payout discounts to S$1.5 million.
Benchmarks to decide whether to give bonuses or discounts will also be raised.
Constructions firms welcomed the move.
Shanghai Tunnel Engineering’s project director, Khor Eng Leong, said money from the scheme can be put to good use.
"Whatever money we get from the safety scheme, we normally use it back for the safety promotion and implementation," said Mr Khor.
Mohamad Zamri, a health, safety and environmental manager at Samsung C&T Corporation, was equally upbeat.
"That’s a carrot—and—stick thing. Of course, if you perform well, it is a motivation for the contractor to perform better than the usual," he said.
Contractors Channel NewsAsia spoke to, however, called for more transparency when it came to letting firms know exactly how they are scored under the scheme.
LTA, on their part, is re—looking the way contractors are evaluated when doling out the safety bonuses.
For future projects, LTA is also putting more weight on scoring companies’ safety initiatives when deciding how to award contracts.
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