SINGAPORE – A pilot initiative offering online workplace safety courses for migrant workers was announced on Sunday May 29 by the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) and the Migrant Workers Center (MWC).
The initiative aims to enforce higher occupational safety and health standards among migrant workers here.
Workers can follow the courses at their own pace during their free time to learn and refresh their knowledge. More details will be announced at a later date, NTUC said.
The move comes after the recent spate of workplace fatalities, which led to a nationwide call for businesses to implement a no-take deadline to review existing workplace safety and health guidelines. .
Currently, all migrant workers must obtain a security certificate either upon arrival in Singapore or when renewing their work permit.
NTUC Deputy Secretary General Melvin Yong, who is also an MP for Radin Mas, said workplace accidents can be prevented if there is proper knowledge and awareness of safety and health measures.
He added: “It is our collective responsibility to ensure that our migrant workers can work in a safe environment and to help them stay up to date with the latest safety measures to protect themselves.”
Mr Yong was the guest of honor at a May Day celebration event on Sunday at the MWC Recreation Club near Pioneer Road to recognize migrant workers for their hard work during the Covid-19 pandemic.
More than 6,000 workers attended the event, which included an award ceremony for winners of a photo contest, the distribution of care packs, cash vouchers and bento meals, and a cricket competition.
Mr. Sivanthaperumal Bhagathsingh, 29, a quality inspector at a shipyard, was happy to see so many people gathering, including workers from different dormitories. He was captain of the Star Boys cricket team, which came in third place.
“When we play cricket, our minds are fresher. And we are able to forget about our work pressures, family pressures and stress, and we can enjoy ourselves,” he said. He has been working in Singapore since April 2018.
Another migrant worker, Mr. Miah Md Kaum, 24, who works as a welder, came in 10th place in the photo contest, winning $160 FairPrice vouchers. He has been working in Singapore since September 2017.
“For two years we couldn’t go out. We could only sit in one place, Makan (eat) and sleep only,” he said. So he was happy to meet many friends at the event, he added.