Worker dies after being struck by falling steel plate at Hougang BTO worksite

The accident took place at the site of the upcoming Hougang Olive BTO project in Hougang Ave 3. PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM GOOGLE MAPS

SINGAPORE - A 43-year-old worker at a Build-To-Order (BTO) project worksite in Hougang Avenue 3 died on Saturday (March 12) after he was struck by a falling steel plate while in an excavated trench.

The plate that struck the Chinese national was being installed to shore up the trench, said the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) in response to queries from The Straits Times.

ST understands that the accident took place at the site of the upcoming Hougang Olive BTO project in Hougang Avenue 3.

The worker was sent to Tan Tock Seng Hospital, where he subsequently died of his injuries.

He was employed by Chang Hua Construction.

Another worker in the trench, a 56-year-old Chinese national, was injured when he tried to block the steel plate with his hands.

He was treated at Tan Tock Seng Hospital and has been discharged.

MOM is investigating the incident and has instructed Chang Hua Construction to stop all excavation and shoring works at the worksite.

Launched in November 2021, the 390-unit Hougang Olive development is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2025.

MOM said that as a general safety rule, no worker should enter an excavation site when it has not been adequately shored.

It did not say whether the trench the worker was killed in had been adequately shored.

The fatal accident on Saturday is the fifth workplace death to have occurred this year.

There were at least 37 workplace deaths last year, compared with 30 deaths in 2020, and 39 deaths in 2019.

On Feb 23, the driver of a forklift at the site of a BTO project in Tampines North died after he was thrown out of the vehicle, which had toppled on its side. 

The 49-year-old Chinese national was reversing the forklift when the incident took place, MOM said.

The worker was unconscious when taken to Changi General Hospital, where he died of his injuries.

Investigations into this incident are ongoing.

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