Construction company fined $170k over worker who fell from height and suffered brain injury, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Construction company fined $170k over worker who fell from height and suffered brain injury

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Construction company EC Builders has been fined $170,000 under the Workplace Safety and Health Act for failing to properly supervise an employee at a worksite who later fell from height and suffered a traumatic brain injury.

The employee Ali Mohammad Sohag was hired as a construction worker, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said on Wednesday.

The incident occurred on Aug 1 2019, after a supervisor told Mr Ali to inspect and tighten the lifelines at a worksite.

The worker, whose age and nationality were not disclosed by MOM, walked on top of steel bars that were placed on a formwork structure to carry out the instructions. But he was not anchored to a lifeline, the ministry said.

While walking, Mr Ali slipped and fell from a height of 12 metres, which is about four storeys high. The location of the worksite was not disclosed.

He was conveyed to Changi General Hospital where he was diagnosed with traumatic brain injury.

MOM said its investigations revealed that the company failed to ensure Mr Ali had relevant training and instructions to install lifelines, and did not ensure that Mr Ali was properly supervised when he was tightening the lifelines at height.

The ministry also found that the company failed to properly consider the hazards relating to installation of lifelines, and the health and safety risks posed by this work activity.

“In the case of EC Builders Pte Ltd, there was a lack of basic safety precautions and respect for safety standards and requirements. As a result, a worker was seriously injured,” said MOM.

It added that providing a safe work environment is a basic responsibility of all employers.

“Employers must ensure that safe work measures are in place to mitigate risks, especially those that could result in fatalities or major injuries. Workers must also keep a lookout for themselves and their co-workers,” said the ministry.

Falling from a height is among the top causes of workplace deaths in 2022. The year saw 46 workplace fatalities, the highest number recorded since 2016, when 66 people died.