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Singaporean construction company TGG was fined S$270,000 for failing in its responsibility as an employer to take practicable and necessary measures that ensure the safety and health of its employees at work. The incident that prompted this led to the death of one construction worker.
In a press release by Ministry of Manpower (MOM), it was discovered that an adjustable base plate fell from above and struck one of the workers’ head while he was dismantling a catch platform at the 31st storey of the building under construction. The worker was subsequently pronounced dead on the spot by responding paramedics.
TGG was the main subcontractor engaged to carry out the reinforced concrete structural works as well as mechanical and electrical works during the construction of two blocks of 38-storey residential building and a multi-storey carpark at Clementi Avenue 6/Commonwealth Avenue West, Singapore.
It was also revealed that it was the managing director, Kwek Teng Kian’s duty to ensure the overall site safety for TGG, and he had failed to exercise all such diligence to prevent the commission of the offence by the company. For that, he was charged S$40, 000.
Chan Yew Kwong, MOM’s director of occupational safety and health inspectorate said: “Management plays a very important role in engendering safety values at the workplace. Their leadership attitudes and practices shape the safety behaviours of employees and affect the safety considerations workers have when at the workplace. There is no excuse when management wilfully disregards safety at the workplace.”
The company and Kwek were charged under the Workplace Safety and Health Act, for failing to:
- Train workers adequately for the formwork dismantling
- Carry out risk assessment (RA) and safe work procedure (SWP) for formwork dismantling
- Issue RA and SWP for catch platform dismantling at the 31st storey
- Coordinate works and ensure that safety netting was installed, and
- Address the risk of falling from height