Worker who fell from parked aircraft dies

SINGAPORE (THE NEW PAPER) - A 63-year-old Singaporean died last Friday after falling from an aircraft while carrying out maintenance works on it. The accident occurred last Dec 22.

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) told The New Paper on Tuesday that the SIA Engineering Company (SIAEC) worker had fallen from a 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 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 last November, and the latest death means at least 12 fatal workplace accidents occurred in the final two months of last year.

The New Paper had earlier reported that a worker died in a warehouse after being struck by falling goods on Dec 23.

On Tuesday, MOM said there was another fatality on Dec 20. A worker died after he was injured while trying to reattach the track shoe of an excavator 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.

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. Of the nine fatalities, four were from construction, 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 no dominant trend contributed to the accidents in November, but MOM and its industry partners have nonetheless stepped up engagement and enforcement efforts.

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.

These additional inspections target high-risk industries such as construction, marine and manufacturing. MOM will also conduct checks on equipment similar to the kind involved in two of the nine fatal accidents last November.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 09, 2020, with the headline 'Worker who fell from parked aircraft dies'. Print Edition | Subscribe