Firm barred over safety lapse: Worker who fell 8m through roof discharged from hospital

The Manpower Ministry rolled out heightened safety measures to increase the accountability of companies and their senior management. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A worker who fell through a roof about three storeys high and was seriously injured has been discharged from hospital after a two-week stay.

On Sept 1, the employee from waterproofing company Le Fong Building Services stepped on a skylight panel about 8m high that broke.

In response to queries from The Straits Times, a spokesman for the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said it understands from the company that the worker was discharged on Tuesday.

The company was the first to be barred from hiring new foreign employees under revised measures introduced on Sept 1, following a spate of workplace deaths and injuries.

To date, 37 people have died in workplace accidents this year - the same number recorded for the whole of 2021.

Since the accident, Le Fong has not been allowed to restart work-at-height activities at any of its work sites.

"Stop-work orders are issued to companies found to have unsafe conditions at the workplace, and will only be lifted when the identified safety lapse(s) are rectified," said the MOM spokesman on Thursday.

An inspection by the ministry found that the company's unsafe work practices had directly contributed to the accident and posed an imminent danger to other workers.

Mr William Lim, the company's managing director, was hauled up by MOM. He admitted that the company had failed to implement a proper system to address safety hazards from working at height.

He will need to ensure that rectifications are carried out, and that a robust workplace safety and health system is put in place before the stop-work order is lifted.

MOM rolled out heightened safety measures from Sept 1 to increase the accountability of companies and their senior management.

Since Sept 1, companies in higher-risk sectors such as construction, manufacturing and marine have also been required to conduct a mandatory safety time-out to review safety procedures.

The safety time-out ends on Thursday.

MOM said the six-month heightened safety period imposed on companies can be extended if necessary.

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