Synergy-Biz issued stop-work order after lorry driver was run over by forklift and died

The lorry driver died after being run over by a forklift while he was securing it onto a lorry for transportation on Aug 25. PHOTO: WORKPLACE SAFETY AND HEALTH COUNCIL

SINGAPORE - A company was issued a stop-work order and fined $6,000 for infringements following an inspection of its premises a day after a worker died in a workplace accident.

The Ministry of Manpower’s (MOM) inspection of the premises of Synergy-Biz on Aug 26 found multiple unsafe conditions that could endanger its workers.

In a Facebook post on Tuesday, MOM listed several safety breaches.

These included excavators with ignition keys inserted in switches and left unattended; heavy machinery with expired lifting machine registration; diesel storage tanks without labels and warning signs; fire extinguishers not in working condition; and electrical casing and wiring in poor condition and insulation.

Synergy-Biz must cease all work activities until the issues have been rectified.

A lorry driver of the company had died on Aug 25 after being run over by a forklift while he was securing it to a lorry for transportation.

Senior Minister of State for Manpower Zaqy Mohamad was quoted in the same Facebook post as saying: "MOM's inspections found that many of the safety lapses which put our workers in danger could have been easily rectified.

"It is important that management and workers take safety very seriously. During this period of heightened safety, we have stepped up inspections and taken action against companies that have fallen short on safety."

He added that MOM will support firms through the StartSafe scheme, which helps small and medium-sized enterprises identify workplace safety and health risks and implement good safety practices.

There have been 37 work-related deaths in Singapore so far this year, which is the same number of deaths recorded for the whole of 2021.

Amid a worrying rise in work-related deaths and injuries, MOM imposed a mandatory safety timeout on companies in high-risk sectors starting on Sept 1.

They will have to suspend operations temporarily to review safety procedures and complete a list of safety timeout activities.

On Sept 21, MOM said companies will get more time to do so with the extension of the timeout to Sept 30.

On Sept 19, Manpower Minister Tan See Leng also launched the Approved Code of Practice on Chief Executives’ and Board of Directors’ Workplace Safety and Health duties.

The code of practice, which will be gazetted in October, includes measures such as setting up internal reporting systems that assure workers of fair treatment, making workplace safety a regular item on the agenda of board meetings and demanding effective safety standards from suppliers.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.