Worker dies after falling 10 storeys in accident at Sembawang BTO site
A Bangladeshi construction worker died on Monday in an accident at the Sun Sails Build-To-Order project site in Sembawang.
The 29-year-old man was hit by a material waste bucket that was being lifted by a crane, and fell 10 storeys to the ground.
In response to queries, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said the worker was on the 10th storey of a building that was under construction at Block 371B Sembawang Avenue, and he was guiding a crane operator to lift the material waste bucket.
The bucket swung and struck the worker, who was employed by Jian Xin Construction, and the impact caused him and the fall protection barriers near him to fall to the ground.
The police said they were alerted to the accident at about 3pm, and the man was unconscious when he was taken to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, where he died from his injuries. The incident is currently under probe.
Based on preliminary investigations, the police said they do not suspect foul play. MOM has instructed the occupier of the worksite, BHCC Construction, to stop all lifting works there.
Monday’s fatal accident means there have been at least 20 reported workplace deaths since the start of 2023.
In comparison, there were 30 workplace deaths in the whole of 2020, 37 in 2021 and 46 in 2022.
MOM has so far only publicly released the workplace fatality numbers for the first half of 2023. There were 14 deaths during this period.
MOM said on Tuesday that as a general safety measure, lifting crew like riggers and signalmen should maintain a line of sight to the load being lifted, and ensure their positions are free from danger.
Mr Han Wenqi, a registered workplace safety and health officer, told The Straits Times that riggers and signalmen working at height should also wear a full-body harness and make sure they are well-anchored.
In a statement, the Housing Board (HDB) said it will work with the Sun Sails building contractor to provide support and assistance to the family of the dead worker.
“Safety at our work sites is of utmost importance to HDB, and we are mindful that the safety and health of the workers cannot be compromised even as we deliver homes to flat buyers,” said an HDB spokeswoman.
She added that the statutory board conducts regular safety audit inspections for all of its ongoing projects, focusing on high-risk areas like the safety of workers working at height.
Since July 2022, HDB has also stiffened the punitive measures it takes against contractors with serious safety incidents.
The spokeswoman added: “We have also been stepping up enforcement against egregious safety lapses uncovered during our no-notice audits.”
The Sun Sails housing project comprises eight residential blocks ranging from six to 13 storeys in height, with a total of 726 two-room flexi, three-room, four-room and five-room units. Launched in November 2020, it is expected to be completed in 2025.