Engineer dies after falling 30m through false ceiling in CapitaSpring

The engineer was working on the maintenance level above the 16th floor when she stepped on the false ceiling panel. PHOTO: CAPITALAND

SINGAPORE - A Singaporean engineer has died after falling seven storeys while doing maintenance work at office building CapitaSpring on Friday (April 8).

The 48-year-old woman was working on the maintenance level above the 16th floor of the building when she stepped on a false ceiling panel.

The panel gave way under her weight and caused her to fall about 30m, landing on the ninth floor, said a spokesman for the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said it received a call for assistance at about 10.55am on Friday. The engineer was pronounced dead at the scene by an SCDF paramedic.

MOM said the woman was an employee of Dragages Singapore, and the site occupier is Ascott International Management, a wholly owned business unit of CapitaLand, which is the co-owner and project developer for CapitaSpring.

CapitaSpring is a 51-storey integrated development in Raffles Place that received its temporary occupation permit in end-2021.

It houses a 299-unit serviced residence under the Citadines brand owned by Ascott. The apartments occupy levels 9 to 16 of the development.

MOM said it is investigating the accident, and has instructed Ascott to stop all access to the maintenance level.

"As a general safety measure, fragile surfaces should be marked clearly and conspicuously to warn of the risk of falling from height," said the spokesman.

The fatal accident means the total number of workplace deaths in Singapore this year is now 11.

A spokesman for CapitaSpring told The Straits Times that the development places utmost importance on workplace safety, and that it requires all contractors and vendors to use appropriate equipment and follow safety procedures.

CapitaSpring is giving its full cooperation to the authorities in their investigations of the incident, he added.

“We are saddened by the passing of an employee of our contractor Dragages Singapore due to an incident involving a fall from height in the building on Friday,” he said.

“Our thoughts are with the loved ones of our contractor’s late employee and we are extending our assistance to the family.”

In a Facebook post on Saturday, National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) assistant secretary-general Melvin Yong said he was deeply saddened by the loss of another worker's life from a fall from height. 

He stressed the importance of assessing the need for facilities maintenance activities in the void areas above any false ceiling panels during construction work. 

If any activities are required, safety measures must be in place to deter anyone from stepping on false ceiling panels, he said. All parties - from developers, contractors to designers - must do their part to prevent future accidents, he added. 

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