Singapore: Work safety trainer jailed 10 months for forging certificates, safety passes

Workers walk at the construction site of new Daxing Airport on the outskirts of Beijing, China Reuters

A 52-year-old workplace safety trainer has been jailed for 10 months for forging certificates and safety passes for the Building Construction Supervisor Safety (BCSS) course.

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said on Wednesday that Ramanathan Thamilselvan, who was a trainer with Work Safe Consultants, had sold the forged documents to workers without conducting any training and assessments. The safety training course is compulsory for all the construction workers who are assigned to a supervisory role at a work site.

MOM said that Thamilselvan was charged under the Workplace Safety and Health Act, for the fraudulent practices that took place between January and March 2016. Under this ACT, the maximum penalty for the forgery of certificates, false entries and false declarations is a fine of up to S$5,000 and up to six months' jail for each charge.

According to the ministry, the two directors from two other workplace safety and health training providers were also sentenced to 10 months' jail each for similar offences in August and September last year.

Between August and December 2015, Sellachamy Somasundaran from Maha Safety Training Centre and Md Abu Zahin Mostafizur from Pioneer Skill Training Centre had forged certificates and safety passes for the same course.

Since then, MOM has cancelled all fraudulent BCSS certificates that were issued by the three training providers. The authorities have also revoked their statuses as accredited training providers.

"Foreign workers who bought the fraudulent BCSS certificates were barred from performing supervisory roles. They will not be allowed to renew their work pass upon expiry and are banned from working in Singapore," the ministry said in a press release. "MOM takes a very serious view of any breach to the Workplace Safety and Health Act as workplace safety and health issues directly affects workers' lives, safety and health."

"Regular audits on the training providers are conducted to ensure full compliance and competency of the training providers," MOM added.

This article was first published on January 24, 2018