Channel NewsAsia
Updated: 12/04/2012 19:01 | By Channel NewsAsia

Safety of workers should be utmost priority, says Heng Chee How

Safety of workers should be utmost priority, says Heng Chee How


Safety of workers should be utmost priority, says Heng Chee How

SINGAPORE: The safety of workers should be the utmost priority, and so the accident involving an oil rig at Jurong Shipyard should be thoroughly investigated to make sure it does not happen again, said Mr Heng Chee How, the Senior Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office and the NTUC’s Deputy Secretary—General.

"Every worker comes from a family, he wants to go back home safely to the family... we owe it to all workers to maintain a safe work culture and a safe workplace," he said on the sidelines of a community event at the People’s Association headquarters.

Noting that the accident was a serious one, Mr Heng said the Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering Employees’ Union has reached out to the affected workers.

He added that the Jurong Shipyard is unionised, and that the union has been on the ground working with the management to stabilise the situation.

Mr Heng said: "They have been trying to work out who among them might be the union members, and where they are union members, there will also be union benefits for these times of distress and so on, that would be available to members. In general as fellow workers, they will want to stand alongside these workers, to give them encouragement, and counsel them as necessary."

The Migrant Workers’ Centre (MWC) assured workers injured in Monday’s rig accident at Jurong Shipyard that they will get the assistance they will need.

It said in a statement on Tuesday that it’s confident that their employer will do all that’s necessary to see to their needs in this critical time.

MWC said it’s in touch with the Manpower Ministry on the provision of assistance.

Eighty—nine workers were injured in the accident on Monday, when a jack—up rig that was being constructed tilted to one side.

MWC was set up in 2009 by the National Trades Union Congress and the Singapore National Employers Federation to improve the welfare of migrant workers in Singapore.

— CNA/ck

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