Title

Securing the safety of experienced and inexperienced workers: a 'salutary' reminder for Singaporean employers and contractors

Document Type

Article

Publication details

Price, R 2010, 'Securing the safety of experienced and inexperienced workers: a 'salutary' reminder for Singaporean employers and contractors', Singapore Law Review, vol. 28, pp. 54-65.

Abstract

There has been a perceptible hardening of the attitude of the Singapore courts towards the claims ofcontractors and employers on issues ofliability fr workplace safety. W'hile the recent High Court decisions of Tan Lee Meng J in Hao Wei and VK Rajah JA. in Zheng Yu Shan still resonate with both the common 1a1 of England and Hong Kong, these decisions seem to be propelling the 1a1 in a new direction regarding an employer s responsibility fr experienced workers anda contractor liability for inexperienced workers. As such, Singaporean employers and principals are well advised to take heed of the High Court renewed call for employee safety and to take prudent steps to minimize liability. It is also averred here that it is time for statutory reform to frmally abolish the distinction between the duties of contractors and those of employers to provide a safe working environment, and that such a reform could take its inspiration from the irrelevance of the distinction under employees' compensation regimes in both Singapore and Hong Kong.