Man dies weeks after falling while doing maintenance work on aircraft

The SIA Engineering Company worker had fallen from height while working on an aircraft at 31 Airline Road. PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM SIA ENGINEERING COMPANY WEBSITE

SINGAPORE (THE NEW PAPER) - A 63-year-old Singaporean died last Friday (Jan 3) after falling from an aircraft while carrying out maintenance works on it.

The accident occurred on Dec 22 last year.

The Manpower Ministry (MOM) told The New Paper on Tuesday that the SIA Engineering Company (SIAEC) worker had fallen from height while working on the aircraft at 31 Airline Road.

He was taken to Raffles Hospital, where he died from his injuries about two weeks later.

MOM said it is investigating the accident and has instructed SIAEC to immediately review and address the gaps identified in its work procedures and risk controls.

There were nine workplace fatalities in November last year, and the latest death means there have been at least 12 fatal workplace accidents in the last two months of 2019.

TNP had earlier reported that a worker died in a warehouse after being struck by falling goods on Dec 23, and on Tuesday, the MOM said there was another fatality on Dec 20. A worker died after he was injured trying to reattach the track shoe of an excavator.

The accident happened at 10 Seletar North Link.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force said it received a call for assistance at about 2pm.

A 36-year-old Indian national employed by Eng Joo Construction was taken to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, where he died on Dec 26.

Eng Joo Construction was the occupier of the site where the accident occurred, and MOM has stopped all operation of excavators within the firm's premises and investigations are ongoing.

On Monday, Tanjong Pagar GRC MP Melvin Yong filed a parliamentary question about the spate of fatalities in November.

In a written reply, Manpower Minister Josephine Teo said the unusually high number of cases was a cause for concern.

November was the worst month for workplace deaths last year and of the nine fatalities, four were from the construction sector, two from marine, two from services, and one from manufacturing.

In the past three years, there has been an average of four fatal workplace accidents a month.

Mrs Teo said there was no dominant trend that contributed to the spate of accidents in November, but MOM and its industry partners have nonetheless stepped up on engagement and enforcement efforts.

MOM worked with the Singapore Contractors Association and the Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Council to organise an industry safety timeout.

And to send a strong signal, Minister of State for Manpower Zaqy Mohamad led a team of enforcement officers on the first of 400 surprise inspections, to be done by mid-February this year.

These additional inspections target high-risk industries such as construction, marine as well as manufacturing.

MOM will also conduct checks on equipment similar to the kind involved in two of the nine fatal accidents in November to prevent recurrence.

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