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MOM Issues Stop-Work Orders to Two Factory Occupiers Following Fatal Accidents

  1. The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has issued two Stop-Work Orders (SWOs) to two factory occupiers following findings from preliminary inspections into two recent fatal accidents. 

    Details of First Fatal Accident
  2. A fatal accident took place at China Railway No. 8 – WSHC JV Pte Ltd’s worksite along Punggol Way / Punggol Road on Thursday, 5 November 2015. Preliminary findings indicate that a worker died after he fell out of the bucket of an excavator that was being used to lift him and another worker out of a five-metre shaft.
  3. MOM’s inspection revealed that the worksite had carried out unsafe excavation works without proper shoring or access. Falling hazards were also observed at open sides of many areas that were left unguarded. There were no access control to the worksite and no means of traffic management within the worksite. 
  4. These were serious workplace safety lapses. A full SWO was issued by MOM to the occupier to stop all work operations at the worksite and to rectify the non-conformances before any work operations are allowed to resume.

    Details of Second Fatal Accident
  5. The second fatal accident occurred at a metalworking factory occupied by Zoom Engineering Pte Ltd on 30 October 2015. Preliminary findings indicate that a worker was fatally pinned under steel plates that were dislodged during a lifting operation. 
  6. MOM’s inspection revealed several safety lapses in the factory. MOM has similarly issued an immediate full SWO to the factory occupier to review its incompatible work processes, conduct a thorough risk assessment for lifting activities, and ensure the safe use of machinery before any work operation can resume.

    MOM: Lapses Found Unacceptable 
  7. The Ministry takes a very serious view of these lapses which show clear disregard by the occupiers to put in place basic safety measures. The lack of responsibility on the part of the occupiers had cost two workers their lives. 
  8. Mr Sam Tan, Minister of State for Manpower, said, "The safety lapses which resulted in the recent accidents are totally unacceptable. They could have been avoided with effective control and management of the worksite. It is deplorable for companies to subject their workers to such foreseeable risks. We will take stern action against these errant companies who had failed to ensure a safe workplace for their workers.”
  9. Should the final investigations determine that the companies have contravened the WSH Act, for failing to take reasonably practicable measures to ensure the safety and health of their employees at work, they will be prosecuted and punishable under the Act for up to $500,000 for a first offence. All companies are required to carry out risk assessments and implement necessary safety measures for their work activities to ensure that the lives of their workers are not put at unnecessary risk.
  10. Companies may refer to the guidelines and other resources on the WSH Council website for more information on taking safety measures to prevent workplace accidents.