CGW Construction fined $150,000 for not taking precautions to prevent worker's death

SINGAPORE - Construction firm CGW Construction Pte Ltd was fined $150,000 in the Subordinate Courts on Thursday for failing to take reasonable measures to ensure the safety and health of its workers.

One of its workers died at a construction site two years ago.

The fine is the highest imposed on an employer for an offence under Section 12 of the Workplace Safety and Health Act. It was also the firm's second conviction under the Act. In its first conviction in 2011, it was fined $50,000 after a worker was injured in a fall.

In the fatal accident on Oct 25, 2012, the CGW employee, a foreign worker named Zhou Shi Hong, fell 6.4m from the open side of a second-floor staircase landing. At the time, CGW was a sub-contractor for the occupier of the worksite, Hyundai Construction and Engineering.

The Ministry of Manpower's investigations found that CGW had failed to put guard rails on the open side of the stairwell, even though their workplace safety documents said that guard rails would be installed.

The firm also did not provide lifelines to which workers could anchor their safety harnesses, even though the agreement between Hyundai and CGW stated that it was CGW's responsibility to do so.

Furthermore, the firm had started work on the stairwell before their Permit-To-Work application had been approved by Hyundai.

CGW pleaded guilty before District Judge Ronald Gwee in the Subordinate Courts and was fined $150,000.