Delivery man who died after fall from platform likely mistook it for a ramp, coroner's inquiry told

SINGAPORE - A 74-year-old Singaporean delivery man who died after falling off an elevated platform at a loading bay had likely mistaken it for the ramp next to it.

An officer from the Ministry of Manpower's (MOM) occupational safety and health division said this on Thursday (Feb 17) as he testified on the first day of a coroner's inquiry into the death of Mr Tan Ping Lim.

Mr Tan was pulling a hand trolley backwards in the loading bay at Century Square mall in Tampines on Aug 13, 2021, when he fell off the open side of the 1m-high platform.

He was taken to hospital and died from his head injuries the next day.

MOM senior investigation officer Abdul Rahman Mohd Yatim said Tan's employer, AST Logistics, had not conducted risk assessments of the area.

"The deceased had not been briefed on the potential hazards and safety measures", he added.

Mr Tan had been working for AST Logistics for just four days when the accident happened.

The Straits Times has contacted MOM to check if any action will be taken against the company.

When asked by State Coroner Adam Nakhoda how he had ascertained that Mr Tan had mistaken the platform for the ramp, Mr Abdul Rahman said the deceased did not use the controls on the adjustable platform and showed no signs of stopping to check if he was near the edge.

Investigation officer Sherwin Lew En Hao from Bedok Police Division, who also took the stand, said someone in the vicinity had heard Tan fall and rushed to see what had happened.

"Tan was found lying face down and he was unconscious," he said.

Mr Tan's toxicology report shows there was no alcohol or other substances in his blood that might have influenced what had happened.

Mr Abdul Rahman also pointed out that Mr Tan did not appear unwell on the day of the accident and had not been working overtime.

"Work fatigue is unlikely to have contributed to the accident," he said.

He added that under workplace safety standards, barricades are required where a person could fall from a height of more than 2m.

It was not mandatory in this case as the platform was 1m high.

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