Worker dies in building site accident

An Indian national was killed at a worksite in Jurong on Sunday morning after being pinned between two pieces of heavy construction equipment.

The construction worker, 23, was pronounced dead at the site in Joo Koon Road by Singapore Civil Defence Force paramedics who received a call at about 9.15am.

Preliminary findings by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) showed he was conducting checks on a boom lift when it suddenly moved, pinning him between the boom lift and a crawler crane parked next to it.

Chinese evening daily newspaper Lianhe Wanbao reported yesterday that there were 20 to 30 workers at the site at the time. The worker was bleeding profusely and suffered severe injuries to his head.

A three-storey office building is being built at the site, and is about two weeks away from completion, said the report.

An MOM spokesman said officers from the ministry's Occupational Safety and Health Inspectorate responded immediately and were on-site to investigate the accident. Investigations are ongoing, and construction firm Eng Lee Engineering has been told to stop using mobile elevated work platforms at the site.

The incident brings the number of worksite fatalities to at least 13 since the start of the year, with at least seven construction accidents in January alone. On Jan 22, two Bangladeshis fell to their deaths at a site along Fusionopolis Way at one-north. The next day, a Chinese worker died when he fell 19 storeys after being struck by a prefabricated unit at a Sengkang site.

On Jan 28, a worker fell four storeys to his death at a site along Eunos Road after a structure he was standing on collapsed. The day after, a support structure collapsed at a site in Sentosa, killing a Chinese national and injuring 10 other workers.

In January, Acting Minister for Manpower Tan Chuan-Jin said that MOM would review two existing workplace safety programmes to "make sure we heighten sensitivity to safety". He added that MOM and the construction industry must review and prevent lapses in the building process.

yeosamjo@sph.com.sg

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