1. The Ministry of Manpower (MOM), in consultation with the Land Transport Authority (LTA), has issued interim safety instructions to SMRT, following the track incident near Pasir Ris MRT station on 22 March 2016 that led to the demise of two maintenance staff. The interim instructions are to strengthen existing safety procedures to prevent the recurrence of a similar incident, specifically with a view to enhancing the safety of staff when carrying out works on railway tracks, during this period when investigations by MOM and LTA are still ongoing.
2. The instructions require SMRT to ensure the following (including but not limited to) when maintenance works are carried out during train service hours:
a) No trains should run in automatic mode for the sections of the track where personnel are required on the adjacent track walkway. Trains on such sections of the track should be operated manually, and at low speeds;
b) The section of the track where all works are taking place including maintenance or repair, should be isolated (i.e. no trains are allowed to approach) to provide a safe zone before any personnel is allowed to proceed to that area;
c) There should be robust authentication procedures between the personnel deployed on the tracks and the Operations Control Centre (OCC) to verify the track isolation;
d) Measures for isolation must be continuously in place until staff have left the work area and trackside; and
e) Watchmen should be deployed to alert personnel on the tracks of oncoming trains from both directions of the track.
3. These measures will apply with effect from 31 March 2016.