SMRT Trains charged over death of technical officer in 2020, faces fine up to $1m , Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

SMRT Trains charged over death of technical officer in 2020, faces fine up to $1m

SMRT Trains was charged on Tuesday over the death of a technical officer who was severely injured while working at Bishan Depot in March 2020.

The rail operator faces one count of failing to take reasonable measures to ensure the safety and health of its employees at the depot on or before the day of the accident.

During a coroner’s inquiry in 2021 into the death of Mr Muhammad Afiq Senawi, 30, the court heard that he was operating a hydraulic press machine on March 23, 2020, when a spacer rod flew out of the machine, broke through the fencing, and hit him in the face.

He was taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital and died later that morning.

Hydraulic press machines are used for industrial purposes and can be powerful enough to crush cars.

According to the latest court documents, SMRT Trains had allegedly failed to install a pressure gauge for the hydraulic press machine after dismantling it for repair, and demarcate a hazardous zone to keep operators a safe distance away from the machine.

It allegedly did not limit the maximum operating pressure of the machine using pressure valves, and ensure adequate guarding for the machine to withstand the force exerted by a work piece shooting out from it during operation.

The firm also allegedly failed to ensure that the work pieces used with the hydraulic press machine were engaged and interlocked to prevent displacement of any single work piece when the machine was in operation.

SMRT Trains faces the prospect of enhanced punishment, having previously been convicted – on Feb 28, 2017, over the death of two people.

On March 22, 2016, two trainee employees, who were part of a 15-member team checking on a fault relating to switching equipment on the MRT tracks, were hit by a train near Pasir Ris MRT station.

The rail operator was fined $400,000.

If found guilty, SMRT Trains can be fined up to $1 million.

The case has been adjourned to Nov 30.