Company fined $40,000 over death of contractor who fell from ladder at carpark

Century Technology was fined $40,000 after it pleaded guilty to a charge of contravening the Workplace Safety and Health Act.
Century Technology was fined $40,000 after it pleaded guilty to a charge of contravening the Workplace Safety and Health Act.PHOTO: ST GRAPHICS

SINGAPORE - A 47-year-old electrician died after falling from a 2.2m-high ladder while installing closed-circuit television cameras (CCTVs) at a multi-storey carpark in November 2013, a court heard on Tuesday (May 3).

The company he worked for, Century Technology, was fined $40,000 after it pleaded guilty to a charge of contravening the Workplace Safety and Health Act.

The court heard that Century Technology had contracted out the installation of CCTVs at the carpark in 26 Jalan Membina to Mr Wang Liang Huat, who had a sole proprietorship, LH Wang Electrical Engineering.

Because Mr Wang's company did not have enough workers to do the job, Century Technology also provided additional workers to help him out.

On Nov 18, 2013, at about 6.10pm, Mr Wang fell from an A-frame ladder while he was inspecting some installed conduit pipes along the ceiling.

A Century Technology employee who was about 8m away from him heard a loud sound and went to check it out.

The worker saw Mr Wang lying face up on the ground near the ladder.

Mr Wang was taken to hospital, but died from head injuries three days later.

Ministry of Manpower prosecuting officer Delvinder Singh told the court the ladders used at the worksite were of insufficient height - the ceiling was about 3.7m high.

Under the Code of Practice for Working Safely at Heights, persons on ladders should maintain three points of contact between his body and the ladder at all times, he noted.

The code also states that standing on the top of a step ladder is highly unsafe and should never be done.

And no risk assessment or safe work procedures had been done for conducting electrical works while using an A-frame ladder at the worksite, added Mr Singh.

The maximum punishment for a company which breaches the Workplace Safety and Health Act is a $500,000 fine.