SINGAPORE – A construction worker died after he fell from a height of about 4m while doing waterproofing work on a roof, making him the sixth workplace fatality in 2023.
The 33-year-old Bangladeshi national fell at about 9am at 2 Marsiling Lane on Sunday, a Ministry of Manpower (MOM) spokesman said on Friday.
He was taken to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, where he died from his injuries on Wednesday.
The ministry said it found lapses in the safety practices of Guan Teck Construction 2000, the worker’s employer and occupier of the site where he died.
MOM has since stopped the company from hiring new foreign workers for three months, and its management and safety personnel will have to personally account for the accident to the ministry.
MOM is also investigating the accident and has issued a stop-work order to the employer.
“Further action may be taken depending on the conclusion of the full investigation,” the ministry added.
When working at height, companies must ensure that fall prevention measures are in place, and workers must be provided with adequate training and proper instruction, and equipped with appropriate safety equipment to prevent falls, according to MOM.
Another construction company was fined $200,000 under the Workplace Safety and Health Act on Feb 24, MOM said in a separate statement.
The company, Startly Construction, failed to ensure safe work procedures for workers using a scaffold, among other lapses, which contributed to the death of a construction worker who was crushed by a 600kg structure in 2019.
The worker, Mr Macha Duang, and his co-worker were working inside a circular drain pipe 6.5m underground on July 23, 2019.
Both had to manoeuvre a mobile tower scaffold inside the drain, including across areas where the floor was uneven.
As proper ramps were not provided, Mr Duang and his co-worker used an improvised ramp.
The two workers decided to push the scaffold on their own, and risked having the scaffold topple towards them, MOM said.
While they were aware of the safer way to move the scaffold, which involved at least five employees, the method was not written down or enforced by Startly Construction.
As the scaffold was being pushed by Mr Duang and his co-worker, it toppled on Mr Duang, who was pronounced dead at the scene by a paramedic.
The latest death on Wednesday happened soon after a heightened safety period imposed on companies here was extended till May 31 to curb a rise in workplace deaths, which MOM said was concerning.
The safety period, which kicked in on Sept 1, 2022, was extended by three months on Feb 10 with more measures in place.
Breaches of workplace safety and health laws that could result in death or serious injury now come with higher penalties, with a maximum fine of $50,000, up from $20,000 previously.
Other additional measures include a mandatory half-day training course for the chief executive, or board of directors, of companies that are found to have significant workplace safety and health lapses following serious or fatal workplace accidents.