65-year-old Singaporean, 32-year-old Bangladeshi die in separate workplace incidents in two days

The first fatal incident occurred on Aug 25 at a PUB work site in Kranji Road. PHOTO: PUB SINGAPORE'S NATIONAL WATER AGENCY/FACEBOOK

SINGAPORE - There were two workplace deaths in Singapore in the past two days.

The first fatal incident occurred on Thursday (Aug 25) at a PUB work site in Kranji Road and claimed the life of a 65-year-old Singaporean, while the second took place on Friday at Woodlands Industrial Park D, where a 32-year-old Bangladeshi worker died.

The two deaths bring work-related deaths in Singapore to 36 so far this year, compared with the 37 recorded for the whole of last year.

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said it will be introducing further measures to strengthen workplace safety, with more information to come following a review.

The ministry said it is deeply concerned about the high number of workplace fatalities this year, and noted that there have been five in August alone.

On Aug 3, a 43-year-old Chinese tow truck driver was pinned between a bus and a pillar at a private transport interchange in Kranji. On Aug 16, a 72-year-old Singaporean traffic controller died after he was hit by a truck at a farm in Lim Chu Kang.

On Monday, a 38-year-old Bangladeshi worker fell into the sea off Tuas after part of a concrete pier collapsed at Keppel Shipyard. His body was found on Wednesday morning.

"We reiterate that employers must take more responsibility over the safety of all their workers," the ministry said on Saturday.

"All workers must also place safety as their priority, watch out for unsafe workplace practices, and bring them to the attention of supervisors and MOM."

In Thursday's accident, the 65-year-old Singaporean driver was transporting a forklift using a low-bed lorry at Kranji Water Reclamation Plant. While he was securing the forklift to the lorry, the forklift suddenly moved forward and ran over him.

He was taken to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, where he died later that day.

National water agency PUB said in a statement on Saturday that the worker was at the water reclamation plant on the day of the accident to collect a forklift rented by Sanli Engineering and Construction.

Sanli is one of PUB's contractors carrying out works at the plant, and had engaged Synergy-Biz, the worker's employer, to transport the forklift from the plant.

PUB added that it is in touch with Synergy-Biz to render support to the worker's family and that PUB and Sanli will assist MOM with its investigations.

In Friday's accident, the 32-year-old Bangladeshi rigger was unloading the base of a concrete lamp post with a lorry loader at a construction site.

During the unrigging, the load toppled onto him. He was pronounced dead at the scene by an SCDF paramedic.

The site's developer, GlobalFoundries, confirmed the fatal accident with The Straits Times on Saturday, and said it was deeply saddened by the incident.

"We are working closely with our construction partner and the authorities to better understand how this accident happened," said its spokesman. "As this is an ongoing investigation, we do not have any further details at this time."

MOM said it is investigating the causes of these fatalities and will not hesitate to take strong enforcement action against any employer found to be at fault.

"MOM expects all employers and supervisors to give their utmost priority to the safety of their workers," it said.

"Employers of recent fatalities have been instructed to stop all works and thoroughly review their systems and processes."

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