S’pore Worker Dies After Falling 6m Down Elevator Shaft, MOM Investigating Incident

S'pore Worker Dies After Falling 6m Down Elevator Shaft, MOM Investigating Incident
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Worker Falls Down 6m Elevator Shaft & Passes Away On 18 Apr

Despite efforts to implement more safety measures at workplaces, fatal accidents unfortunately still do happen.

Recently, the Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Council shared that two workers had passed away while on the job last month.

The first had fallen down a deep elevator shaft, while the second was crushed by a forklift part.

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is currently investigating both incidents.

Worker dies after falling down elevator shaft

On Wednesday (24 May), WSH released alerts on two fatal workplace accidents that occurred in April.

In the first accident, a worker was carrying out welding work on a newly constructed lift shaft at an undisclosed location on 18 Apr when the first incident took place.

According to the statement, he then fell into the shaft and plummeted 6m to the ground below.

An image shows that he was working on a metal piece at the opening of the lift before the fall.

elevator shaft worker

Source: WSH Council

He was rushed to the hospital but later died of his injuries.

Preliminary investigations found that although there were guard rails around the open side of the lift shaft, the worker was not wearing any fall-arrest equipment or travel restraints at the time of the accident.

elevator shaft worker

Source: WSH Council

The WSH Council is urging companies who do similar work to ensure that the necessary measures and precautions are put in place to prevent such falls.

This includes having a fall prevention plan, installing effective guard railings, and equipping workers with personal protective equipment.

Forklift mast falls on technician

The second fatal workplace accident of the month happened 10 days later on 28 Apr.

A technician had been getting ready to carry out repair works on a forklift when the vehicle’s mast — the part that lifts and lowers the load — fell on him.

Paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene.

The WSH Council alert states that, based on preliminary investigations, the locking pins of the mast had been removed without first securing the mast.

Source: WSH Council

“Workers involved in vehicular repair may be exposed to physical hazards when working with vehicle parts or engine components,” the alert reads.

As such, companies carrying out vehicular repair work should conduct an assessment of their safety measures.

The WSH Council said that forklift masts “must be either properly secured or held in place before any locking pins are removed”.

Additionally, workers should be briefed on the risk of the mast toppling during disassembly.

Companies should also mark out the mast fall zone, which workers should stay clear of before the mast locking pins are removed.

MOM investigating both incidents

First-time corporate offenders that fail to comply with the WSH Act may be fined up to S$500,000. Individuals may get up to two years’ jail or be fined up to S$200,000.

MOM will also impose severe actions for serious WSH lapses during the extended Heightened Safety Period till 31 May. They include:

  • Debarring companies from hiring new work pass holders
  • Making company leaders personally account to MOM and attend a mandatory WSH training course
  • Engaging external auditors to conduct thorough review of company’s WSH processes

Investigations are ongoing for both accidents.

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Featured image adapted from WSH Council.

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