Two companies agree to bear 90% of liability in accident where worker lost right leg

Negligence suit by Lu Bobo against his employer Hg Metal Manufacturing, for an industrial accident. Less than two months after starting work with a manufacturing firm here, Chinese national Mr Lu Bobo's legs were crushed under a 1.6 tonne beam that f
Negligence suit by Lu Bobo against his employer Hg Metal Manufacturing, for an industrial accident. Less than two months after starting work with a manufacturing firm here, Chinese national Mr Lu Bobo's legs were crushed under a 1.6 tonne beam that fell on him as he tried to operate a warehouse crane. -- ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG

Less than two months after starting work with a manufacturing firm here, Chinese national Mr Lu Bobo's legs were crushed under a 1.6 tonne beam that fell on him as he tried to operate a warehouse crane.

The 21-year-old eventually had his right leg amputated above the knee and a prosthetic leg fitted. He now has difficulty walking.

On Wednesday, two companies agreed to bear 90 per cent of the liability for the accident in 2011. They are Mr Lu's former employer, HG Metal Manufacturing, and Asia Metal Engineering & Trading, which occupied the space in the Boon Lay warehouse where the mishap took place. Mr Lu had sued both.

The exact damages due to Mr Lu, for claims including future transport and medical expenses and the loss of earnings, are still being assessed.

On May 14, 2011, Mr Lu attempted to operate the crane when one of its hooks snagged onto a nearby beam as the parts were retracting upwards.

One end of the 9.5 m-long beam, commonly used as a roof steel structure, then fell onto Mr Lu's legs and pinned them to the ground. The crane's hoisting chain had not been properly hooked up and secured by Asia Metal workers, who were the last to use the machine.

Mr Lu has not worked since the accident and his employment with HG Metal was terminated on Dec 31 last year.