Construction firm fined $250,000 for workplace safety lapses that led to worker's death

SINGAPORE - Construction firm Or Kim Peow Contractors has been fined $250,000 for safety lapses that resulted in four workers falling 6.4m to the ground.

One worker, aged 24, from India, died, while three others, from India and Bangladesh, were injured in the incident on Sept 22, 2015.

Its safety coordinator and site supervisor Victor Tan Kok Peng was also fined $12,000 under the Workplace Health and Safety Act for performing a negligent act, the Ministry of Manpower said on Tuesday(July 11).

Investigations found he had assigned workers who were not adequately trained and briefed on the Professional Engineer's design to erect the working platform.

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The four workers fell when the section of the working platform they were standing on under the Yio Chu Kang flyover dislodged, the Ministry of Manpower said on Tuesday(July 11).

The firm was engaged to expand the Central Expressway/Tampines Expressway/Seletar Expressway interchange, which included structural, piping and finishing works for the flyover.

The four workers were installing a reinforcement system to the underside of the flyover when the accident occurred.

Investigations found the company neither had trained scaffold erectors to assemble the standing platform, nor were the workers under the immediate supervision of a scaffold supervisor.

The firm also failed to erect the platform according to the Professional Engineer's design.

Furthermore, there were no warning signs or labels stating the maximum permissible load of the working platform at its access point.

"This is a clear case of a company that does not take workplace safety seriously," said Mr Chan Yew Kwong, MOM's director of occupational safety and health inspectorate. "MOM will not hesitate to take punitive actions on companies and individuals who knowingly put workers at risk. There is no excuse for companies who fail to take ownership of workplace safety."