Nine in 10 food delivery and courier firms inspected by MOM in 2017 had safety issues

SINGAPORE – Nearly nine in 10 food delivery and courier services companies that the Manpower Ministry inspected last year had safety and health issues, putting staff at risk.

The ministry inspected 50 such companies last year, and issued 71 notices to 44 erant companies for infringing workplace safety and health regulations, Minister of State for Manpower Sam Tan said in Parliament on Tuesday (Feb 27).

More than seven in 10 of the infringements found had to do with the lack of or inadequate risk assessment, which means the companies did not identify hazards which can affect the safety and health of their employees and contract staff, he said. These hazards could include poorly maintained vehicles or a lack of protection from the elements.

“Without risk assessments, the companies are not able to put in place the necessary preventive actions against accidents,” Mr Tan said in reply to a question from Ms Joan Pereira (Tanjong Pagar GRC).

The errant companies have since fixed the safety lapses and conducted proper risk assessments, he said, adding that the ministry will conduct similar inspections this year on other delivery companies and couriers.

Ms Pereira also asked whether it can be made mandatory for employers to buy special insurance coverage for delivery drivers to cover third party risk.

Mr Tan said that under existing laws, third party risks are already covered by insurance if delivery drivers use vehicles such as vans, lorries and cars for work.

But those using personal mobility devices are not covered. The Active Mobility Advisory Panel is looking at this in a study due to be completed by the end of this year, he said.

Mr Tan also noted that under the Workplace Safety and Health Act, food delivery and courier service companies have to ensure their workers – including part-time and contract staff – have sufficient training on the use of bicycles and personal mobility devices.

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