Man dies after falling from supply ship en route to Singapore

SINGAPORE - A 40-year-old man died after a fatal workplace accident on board a Singapore-registered ship last Thursday (Jan 2).

The accident occurred on a supply ship en route to Singapore from the waters off the coast of Desaru, Malaysia.

In response to queries from The Straits Times, a spokesman for the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said the man, identified as an Indonesian national, fell from the supply ship into the sea during a lifting operation.

The police said they were alerted to a call for assistance from the vessel at 1.46pm last Thursday.

Upon the vessel's return to Singapore, the crewman was pronounced dead on board by a Singapore Civil Defence Force paramedic, the police said.

According to MOM, the man was employed by OPL Services, a Singapore-based shipping service company.

The ministry and the police are currently investigating the fatal accident.

In another recent workplace-related death, a 63-year-old Singaporean man died after an accident while carrying out maintenance works on an aircraft on Dec 22 last year.

He was taken to Raffles Hospital where he died on Jan 3.

MOM said it was investigating the case and had instructed the employer, SIA Engineering Company, to review and address gaps identified in its work procedures and risk controls immediately.

In a written reply to a parliamentary question from Tanjong Pagar GRC MP Melvin Yong about the spate of fatalities in November, Manpower Minister Josephine Teo said the unusually high number of cases was a cause for concern.

At least nine workplace accidents were recorded in November last year and 12 workplace cases were recorded in total in the last two months of 2019.

In a Facebook post on Dec 13, Minister of State for Manpower and National Development Zaqy Mohamad expressed concern over the rising number of workplace deaths.

Mr Zaqy said MOM has ramped up enforcement efforts, with a team conducting 400 inspections targeting high-risk industries from December 2019 to February 2020.

The last Singapore Workplace Safety and Health report, released in the third quarter of 2019, said there were eight fatal injuries between July and September 2019.

An annual report which covers all workplace fatalities, major and minor injuries in 2019, including statistics for the final quarter of last year, will be released early this year.

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