HDB addresses crane operator's complaint of unsafe Punggol building practices

HDB has addressed the allegations of a tower crane operator who said he saw unsafe work practices at a construction site in Punggol.
HDB has addressed the allegations of a tower crane operator who said he saw unsafe work practices at a construction site in Punggol.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The Housing Board (HDB) has addressed allegations by a tower crane operator that unsafe practices were occurring at a Punggol construction site.

The Singaporean operator had reported to HDB on Aug 3 that he had observed water being added to the cement mix on-site, which he said was not the proper method.

In a statement posted on their "HDB Speaks" portal on Tuesday, the board said that they had conducted investigations at the site and found safety practices to be in order.

A complaint regarding the same case had surfaced online at the same time on non-profit website transitioning.org.

The writer, who gave his name as "Edward", claimed he had been fired for trying to expose his company's unsafe practices at an Edgedale Plains public housing project.

He wrote: "I have observed the way foreign workers (build) our HDB (build-to-order flats) in a very wrong way."

"Even after water was added from the cement truck they (continued) to add water during casting when the bucket (reached) the top. Mixing of water can only be done in the cement plant and when it reaches the site no more water should be added to it.

"I can no longer keep quiet about this because one day I'll stay in one of (these flats) too."

He added that his signal men had also threatened him after he took photos of their "reckless unsafe hoisting procedures."

In a statement posted on their "HDB Speaks" portal on Tuesday , HDB said that they had acted on the operator's feedback. "We carried out additional tests on the concrete quality at the site in question. The tests done have shown that the quality of the concrete is in order and have met specified requirements."

The statement added that the crane operator had told HDB he had not been sacked, but rather re-assigned to another site, and also that he did not write the article posted on transitioning.org.

"We take all such feedback seriously and will follow up to investigate thoroughly to ensure that the safety and quality of our buildings are safeguarded and not compromised. If we should find any lapses on the part of a contractor or consultant, we will take appropriate action firmly," it concluded.

oliviaho@sph.com.sg