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The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has fined yet another construction company under the Workplace Safety and Health Act (WSHA).
On Tuesday, Or Kim Peow Contractors (OKP) and its safety coordinator and site supervisor, Victor Tan Kok Peng, were convicted and fined $250,000 and $12,000 respectively in relation to a workplace accident resulting in the death of a worker and the injury of three others on 22 September 2015.
According to a statement by MOM, the construction company was engaged to expand the CTE/TPE/SLE interchange, which included structural, piping and finishing works for the flyover.
During the installation of the carbon fibre reinforced polymer system to the soffit of the flyover, four workers fell 6.4 metres to the ground when the section of the working platform they were standing on under Yio Chu Kang Flyover dislodged. One worker died and the other three suffered injuries (fractures and contusions).
At that time, Tan was assigned to be the safety coordinator and site supervisor in charge of the workers involved in the erection of the working platform.
Investigations by MOM revealed negligence of safety measures on both the company’s and site supervisor’s part including:
- OKP failed to ensure that all persons involved in the erection of the working platform were trained scaffold erectors.
- OKP failed to erect the working platform according to the professional engineer’s (PE) design.
- The working platform was erected without the immediate supervision of a scaffold supervisor.
- There were no warning sign/label displayed stating the maximum permissible load of the working platform at its access point.
- Tan had assigned workers who were not adequately trained and briefed on the PE design to erect the working platform.
As a result of their negligence of safety measures, OKP was charged under section 11(a) of the WSHA for failure to take adequate safety measures to ensure the working platform erected by the company was safe for use. While Tan was charged under section 15(3A) of the WSHA for performing a negligent act by assigning workers not adequately trained and briefed on the PE design to erect the working platform.
Chan Yew Kwong, MOM’s director of occupational safety and health inspectorate, commented: “This is a clear case of a company that does not take workplace safety seriously. As an approved scaffold contractor, the company did not have trained scaffold erectors to assemble the standing platform, nor were the workers under the immediate supervision of a scaffold supervisor. MOM will not hesitate to take punitive actions on companies and individuals who knowingly put workers at risk. There is no excuse for companies who fail to take ownership of workplace safety.”
Photo / 123RF