Construction worker falls 7 storeys to death in Woodlands

The Mega@Woodlands construction site run by Wee Hur Construction at Woodlands Close and Woodlands Ave 12.
The Mega@Woodlands construction site run by Wee Hur Construction at Woodlands Close and Woodlands Ave 12. ST PHOTO: OLIVIA HO

SINGAPORE - A worker from China died on Sunday (Aug 28) at a Woodlands construction site, bringing the workplace death toll this year to at least 49.

The 33-year-old fell seven storeys while working at the Woodlands Avenue 12 site, which is run by Wee Hur Construction.

His death came four days after a workplace health and safety conference last week, at which Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say warned the workplace death rate was likely to go up this year.

The accident occurred at project Mega@Woodlands, which according to a signboard at the site, is an eight-storey industrial factory development slated for completion in the fourth quarter of 2017.

A Ministry of Manpower (MOM) spokesman said that at around 9am on Sunday, a team of workers had been installing formwork - moulds into which concrete is poured - for a column on the seventh storey of the building.

One of the formwork panels fell over the edge of the building, taking the victim with it.

Police said they received a call for assistance at 10am. Paramedics pronounced the victim dead at the scene.

The Straits Times understands the worker was wearing a safety harness at the time of the accident, but it is not clear if it was clipped onto a lifeline.

MOM is investigating the cause of the accident and has issued a stop work order on all formwork and lifting operations at the site.

Said the spokesman: "Employers and contractors are reminded to establish and effectively implement clear procedures to safely install and dismantle formwork.

"If lifted by a mobile or tower crane, a formwork panel should always be properly supported and secured prior to being released, to prevent accidental toppling."

A spokesman from Wee Hur said the worker was employed by one of their sub-contractors.

"The deceased's family has been notified and the company is arranging bereavement support to help the family tide through this difficult period."

He added: "Wee Hur is committed to workplace safety and has instructed its safety officers, foremen and its sub-contractors to exercise greater caution at (the) worksite."