Bakery owner pulled into machine by rotating mixer arm

The wake for Mr Ng Sew Kuang (above) yesterday was held near his bakery at Block 17 Bedok South Road. Mr Ng died on Monday in an accident at his shop, Ng Kian Seng Confectionery.
The wake for Mr Ng Sew Kuang yesterday was held near his bakery at Block 17 Bedok South Road. Mr Ng died on Monday in an accident at his shop, Ng Kian Seng Confectionery.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO
The wake for Mr Ng Sew Kuang (above) yesterday was held near his bakery at Block 17 Bedok South Road. Mr Ng died on Monday in an accident at his shop, Ng Kian Seng Confectionery.
The wake for Mr Ng Sew Kuang (above) yesterday was held near his bakery at Block 17 Bedok South Road. Mr Ng died on Monday in an accident at his shop, Ng Kian Seng Confectionery.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

A bakery owner who died on Monday in a workplace accident was operating an industrial gas-heated cooking mixer to prepare bean paste when he was caught by the rotating mixer arm and pulled into the machine.

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) told The Straits Times yesterday that Mr Ng Sew Kuang, 73, was later extricated and pronounced dead at the scene.

It added: "MOM has stopped all manufacturing works and is investigating the incident."

Family members at the wake for Mr Ng, held near the bakery at Block 17 Bedok South Road, declined to speak to reporters.

The shop, Ng Kian Seng Confectionery, is more than 70 years old and was started by Mr Ng's paternal grandfather. It is known for its traditional goodies, such as tau sar piah and wife cakes.

A worker said on Monday that no one was near Mr Ng when the accident occurred and staff became aware that something was wrong only when there was a burning smell coming from the machine.

Industrial bakers told The Straits Times there can be multiple hazards in the kitchen. Madam Anna Tan, 60, the owner of 51 fiveone degrees bakery, said the metal covering of her flour-kneading machine must be put on top of the mixing bowl to prevent the baker's hands from being trapped inside and damaged by the beater.

Mr Henry Ng, 38, chef and owner of Bread & Hearth, said one has to be aware of specific potential hazards. He added that no one should work alone in the pantry, and everyone must always don proper protective equipment.

With a past career focusing on safety, including as a combat technician with the Republic of Singapore Navy, Mr Ng said: "I learnt that safety should be part of our DNA."

He said safety should not be enforced through penalties but inculcated during work induction programmes, and even earlier, during one's school years and childhood.

He said: "Our family awaits our return after work every day, thus workplace safety is No. 1 for us."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 27, 2018, with the headline 'Bakery owner pulled into machine by rotating mixer arm'. Print Edition | Subscribe