Worker dies after being struck by timber fragment; 30 workplace deaths so far this year

MOM is investigating the incident, and has instructed the contractor to stop all piling activities. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A worker died in hospital on Wednesday (July 13) after being struck by a piece of wood, taking this year's workplace fatality count to 30.

The 51-year-old Singaporean was hit by a timber fragment when it broke from a piece of plywood that was used in a pile load test.

The accident happened on July 6 at about 10am at Pasir Ris Drive 1, said the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) in a statement on Thursday (July 14).

The man was taken to Changi General Hospital, where he died from his injuries a week later.

MOM is investigating the incident, and has instructed the contractor BBR Piling to stop all piling activities.

Piling is a construction process which involves drilling foundations in the ground to give more structural strength to weak soils in order to support heavy loads.

The developer of the plot is United Microelectronics Corporation, a Taiwanese semiconductor company, said MOM.

The occupier of the worksite is Takenaka Corporation, a Japanese architectural, construction and engineering company.

MOM said: "As a general safety measure for activities where flying fragments are common, steps should be taken to prevent these fragments from hitting persons or causing property damage."

Singapore is experiencing a spate of workplace deaths. In May, companies were urged to impose a two-week safety time out after Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said the growing number of workplace deaths was not acceptable, and that safety at the workplace needs to be taken more seriously.

Last month, MOM doubled the composition fines that firms are liable for should offences be observed during safety inspections to a maximum of $5,000.

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