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After a hearing appeals from both the prosecution and the company last week (9 April), the High Court increased Sterling Engineering’s fine to S$330,000 from the previously set S$280,000.
According to a media release by the Ministry of Manpower on Monday (17 April), after an 18-day trail for a fatal accident that occurred on 2 September 2014, the company was convicted and fined under the Workplace Safety and Health Act (WSHA) on 18 July 2017.
The company subsequently filed an appeal against the conviction and sentence. The prosecution also filed an appeal to increase the fine amount. Amongst other things, the company argued that the design of the gate, which was not under the company’s purview, caused the accident.
The appeals were heard before Justice Aedit Abdullah, who held that while the company may not be able to alter the gate design, it was still its responsibility, as a fabricator and installer, to ensure safety.
The company fell short of the standards required for risk assessment and safety measures during installation. The High Court Judge dismissed the company’s appeal against conviction and sentencing.
Sebastian Tan, MOM’s director of occupational safety and health inspectorate, said: “As the installer of the gate, the employer has a duty to identify all safety risks, including design-related ones, and implement the appropriate control measures to address these risks. The company did neither and a worker needlessly lost his life. MOM will not hesitate to take such errant companies to task.”