Firm fined after worker run over by truck; two others penalised for workplace fatalities, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Firm fined after worker run over by truck; two others penalised for workplace fatalities

Three companies were fined over vehicular and machinery-related incidents and fall from height, which were among the top causes of fatalities and major injuries at the workplace in the first six months of 2023.

These incidents are common due to inadequate or lack of basic work procedures and a lack of proper training for workers, said the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) on Wednesday.

Of the 14 workplace deaths from January to June 2023, three were due to vehicular incidents and four were caused by falls from height.

Additionally, there were 311 major workplace injuries in that period, of which 46 were caused by machinery incidents, 42 by falls from height, and 14 from vehicular incidents.

Poultry farm Chew’s Agriculture worker Lim Teck Huat died on Aug 16, 2022, after he was run over by a truck while acting as a traffic controller.

The Straits Times had previously reported that a 72-year-old traffic controller died on Aug 16, 2022, after he was hit by a truck in Lim Chu Kang. The accident took place at about 7.30am at a farm at 150 Neo Tiew Road owned by Chew’s Agriculture.

The farm was fined $185,000 on Oct 26 for failing to identify and mitigate risks of collision between vehicles and employees. It also did not implement any traffic management plans or require traffic controllers to wear safety vests.

It was also fined for failing to ensure that employees were properly trained in traffic control.

Kim Hock Corporation, a company that processes scrap metal for export, was fined $240,000 on Oct 13 over the death of a worker. 

It was found to have failed to put in place adequate safety procedures or properly train and instruct employees performing maintenance work on a machine used to cut scrap metal.

On Feb 24, 2020, Mr Karuppaiah Selvaraj was pinned against the machine by its door after Mr Uttom, a co-worker operating the machine using a mobile panel, pressed the wrong button. Mr Karuppaiah was pronounced dead at the scene by a paramedic.

In a construction incident on May 9, 2019, a worker who was installing glass panels for a canopy of a three-storey semi-detached house fell from a height of about 3.2m. Mr Che Chee Eh, an employee of Verre Glass Construction, was pronounced dead at the scene by a paramedic. 

Flux General Contractors, the construction company hired to erect the canopy and perform flooring and waterproofing works at the site, had subcontracted the works to SK Hacking, which in turn engaged Verre Glass Construction to carry out the glass installation.

Flux General was fined $50,000 on Oct 13 for failing to ensure that SK Hacking had the proper expertise. Instead, it had contracted the firm based on their working relationship.

Flux General also failed to conduct proper risk assessment and implement safety measures.

Its director, Mr Elijah Yang, was later jailed for three weeks for falsifying documents and failing to ensure safety standards at work.

He was in charge of all safety matters, but had delegated his responsibilities to Mr Kelvin Lim, a freelance sales manager employed by Flux General.

Investigations found that following Mr Che’s death, Mr Yang had instructed Mr Lim to falsify the risk assessment and safe work procedures done by Verre Glass Construction to reflect SK Hacking’s name instead.

The number of workplace incidents in the first half of 2023 fell slightly from the six months prior, when there were 18 deaths and 316 major injuries. In the first half of 2022, there were 28 deaths and 298 major injuries.

MOM said that workers should also adhere to safe work procedures, and should report unsafe practices to their supervisors or on