Users trained to safely operate gondolas in emergencies

We refer to Mr Loong Chik Tong's letter, which referenced workers who were rescued from a fire at a Punggol construction site (Gondola operators should be trained; May 18).

We are the gondola supplier at the Punggol construction site.

We work closely with our clients to ensure that all users are competent to safely operate the gondolas, even in an emergency.

Operators are trained in all key components of the gondola system. This training regime is guided by the Singapore Standards on Suspended Scaffolds and includes the pre-operation checks operators are to undertake before using a gondola, as well as safe actions to take during a breakdown or an emergency.

As Mr Loong rightly pointed out, in the event of a power failure, a primary brake can be released to lower the gondola. This safety feature is explained as part of our training.

The operators are trained to manually release the primary brake to safely lower the gondola to the ground.

This training is documented in an operator training record to assist our clients in monitoring and ensuring that all users of the gondolas on-site have undergone training.

It was unfortunate that a fire broke out at the construction site in Punggol on May 16, and particularly distressing to see workers trapped in the gondola cradle while the fire was raging below.

During any emergency, workers must remember to remain calm and execute the safe actions taught during training.

We constantly review our training and work closely with the authorities and industry partners to enhance the safe use of gondolas on-site.

Daniel Woo
Corporate Safety Manager
Sante Access System

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 31, 2017, with the headline 'Users trained to safely operate gondolas in emergencies'. Print Edition | Subscribe