Construction sites are the deadliest workplaces in Singapore, with a fatality rate three times higher than the national average. Yet policy debates about worksite safety have largely been lacking a critical voice: that of construction workers. Alarmed by the growing death toll of construction workers, HealthServe decided to explore the issue of what makes construction sites unsafe, with an emphasis on workers’ perspectives. In our interviews, migrant construction workers from China frequently complained about excessive workloads and unreasonable productivity targets, as well as cost-cutting measures that result in severe time pressures and the reduction of materials and resources. Fatigue from long hours of work and a lack of rest days greatly increased the risk of accidents happening. These factors were enabled, as well as exacerbated, by their bosses’ and supervisors’ general disregard for workers’ safety and wellbeing, and zero tolerance for dissent. While deliberating solutions will require the input of multiple stakeholders, our preliminary findings indicate that a greater emphasis needs to be placed on workers’ wellbeing and participation in formulating workplace safety policies and strategies.
See full report here: Worksite (Un)Safety