Joint venture company fined $70,000 for fatal accident at Bugis Downtown Line station

An aerial view of the Bugis Downtown Line work site in which its underground scaffolding collapsed on July 18, 2012. The main contractor in charge of building Bugis Downtown Line station was fined $70,000 in court on Wednesday, Feb 26, 2014, for
An aerial view of the Bugis Downtown Line work site in which its underground scaffolding collapsed on July 18, 2012. The main contractor in charge of building Bugis Downtown Line station was fined $70,000 in court on Wednesday, Feb 26, 2014, for breaching workplace safety and health regulations. -- MY FILE PHOTO: JAMIE KOH

The main contractor in charge of building the Bugis Downtown Line station was fined $70,000 in court on Wednesday for breaching workplace safety and health regulations.

The collapse of a roof at a construction site there on July 18, 2012 resulted in two deaths and eight workers injured.

A representative of Soletanche Bachy-Koh Brothers joint venture (JV) pleaded guilty to failing to take safety measures at the site. The JV company had failed to ensure that formwork structures were inspected and certified by a professional engineer before the concrete-made structures were placed at the site, and to ensure that the site was inspected regularly.

If such an engineer was engaged to inspect the formwork structures, activity at the Bugis site might have been suspended as the structures were not built using specified materials as required, and this could have prevented the accident.

In the same court, Sin Herh Construction, the sub-contractor engaged to carry out structural works at the site, also pleaded guilty through its representative but it has not been sentenced.

Mr Chandra Mohan, the lawyer who was representing the joint venture, said in mitigation that his client had taken immediate steps to improve site safety.

The maximum penalty for the offence under the Workplace Safety and Health Act is a $500,000 fine.