Dear A.S.S. Editor
Nearly a year has passed since the tragic incident that claimed the lives of 2 SMRT Trainees. Today, SMRT had finally been fined by the courts $400,000 for safety lapses leading to the accident. The train operator pleaded guilty to one count of failing to ensure the safety and health of employees, under the Workplace Safety and Health Act.
While the amount might seem too little for a company that make millions in profit every year, the basic principle here is that they were found guilty. If the Courts already found you guilty, that means you are solely responsible for this accident. Further, the court also revealed that “systemic and prolonged” breaches had been ongoing. “This is not a one-off incident. Here, the breach was committed by workmen on the ground and station managers. This was done with approval from Operations Control Centre.
The judge also commented, in passing the sentence, that it was highly disconcerting that the failures were systemic and had occurred on many levels, despite having safety protocols in place. Apparently, employees were left to adopt whatever practice they deemed convenient. Official safety protocols on paper were either unknown to employees or completely disregarded.
All of us know that you can never take safety for granted. But the way SMRT acts, you get the feeling that safety protocols are not the most important thing for them then.