Dock worker in ICU after falling 15m on board vessel

Jurong Port told to suspend unloading works on vessel while MOM investigates incident

The stretcher carrying the injured worker being manoeuvred through a narrow hatch. The worker fell while unloading steel pipes on board a vessel at Jurong Port on Thursday. Right: SCDF officers treating the worker.
SCDF officers treating the worker.PHOTO: SCDF/FACEBOOK
The stretcher carrying the injured worker being manoeuvred through a narrow hatch. The worker fell while unloading steel pipes on board a vessel at Jurong Port on Thursday. Right: SCDF officers treating the worker.
The stretcher carrying the injured worker being manoeuvred through a narrow hatch. The worker fell while unloading steel pipes on board a vessel at Jurong Port on Thursday.PHOTO: SCDF/FACEBOOK

A dock worker is in the intensive care unit (ICU) after falling from a height of 15m on Thursday while working on a vessel at Jurong Port.

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said yesterday it has told Jurong Port to stop all unloading works on the vessel as it investigates the incident.

The man, a 48-year-old Malaysian, was unloading steel pipes when he fell and had to be rescued by the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF).

In a Facebook post on Thursday night, SCDF said it received a call for help at about 5pm and when its officers arrived at the port, the man was being treated by the company's emergency response team.

The rescuers, along with emergency medical services personnel from Jurong and Jurong Island fire stations, went below the deck to assess and stabilise the condition of the man.

SCDF said firefighters and members of its Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team worked with the company's emergency response team to carefully secure the man onto a stretcher before pulling him out of the cargo hold. It added: "The final stage of the rescue operation involved the delicate manoeuvring of the stretcher within the confines of a narrow hatch."

MOM told The Straits Times yesterday the man suffered multiple fractures and was taken to National University Hospital, where he is currently in the ICU.

"MOM is investigating the incident and has instructed the occupier to stop all unloading works on board the vessel," said the ministry, adding that the occupier and man's employer is Jurong Port.

A spokesman for Jurong Port said the man is in stable condition and the company is also investigating the incident.

In a separate incident in April, a 45-year-old Jurong Port worker, also a Malaysian, was injured when he was struck by hoisted materials being unloaded from a vessel at the port.

The latest incident comes after an SMRT technician was killed and his co-worker injured when a car jack supporting a minibus they were working on gave way in a workshop at SMRT's Ang Mo Kio bus depot on Sunday.

MOM said that there were close to 3,300 workplace injuries between January and March this year, compared with over 3,100 workplace injuries in the same period last year.

"Our workers' lives are of utmost importance, and we urge everyone to make workplace safety a priority to prevent the occurrence of future injuries and fatalities," said the ministry.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 12, 2021, with the headline 'Dock worker in ICU after falling 15m on board vessel'. Subscribe