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TGG Pte Ltd fined $270,000 and its managing director fined $40,000 under the Workplace Safety and Health Act

  1. TGG Pte. Ltd. was the main subcontractor engaged to carry out the reinforced concrete structural works as well as mechanical and electrical works during the construction of 2 blocks of 38-storey residential building and a multi-storey carpark at Clementi Avenue 6/Commonwealth Avenue West, Singapore.
  2. Mr Chan Yew Kwong, MOM’s Director of Occupational Safety and Health Inspectorate, “Workplace safety culture is more than removing safety hazards and implementing safety procedures. It is about having safety-first attitudes, behaviours and mindsets. Management plays a very important role in engendering safety values at the workplace. Their leadership attitudes and practices shape the safety behaviours of employees and affect the safety considerations workers have when at the workplace. There is no excuse when management wilfully disregards safety at the workplace. MOM will not hesitate to take senior management to task when found to be flouting safety practices”.

    Case Details
  3. On 8 Oct 2015, two of TGG Pte. Ltd.’s employees, both construction workers, were carrying out the dismantling of a catch platform within a lift shaft at the 31st storey of the building under construction, when an adjustable base plate fell from above and struck one of the workers’ head. The worker was subsequently pronounced dead at scene by responding paramedics. The certified cause of death was “Head Injury”. The estate of the deceased worker was compensated under the WICA.
  4. MOM’s Occupational Safety and Health Division’s (“OSHD”) investigations showed that TGG Pte. Ltd. had instructed its workers to carry out formwork dismantling, installation of barricades and cleaning up of the work area (“housekeeping”) at the 38th storey of the building near the lift shaft area, while the dismantling of the catch platform was concurrently being carried out by the deceased worker and his co-workers at the 31st storey on the accident day.
  5. The accident occurred when a worker at the 38th storey attempted to lift a formwork frame by himself and fell, dropping the frame (with wooden timbers on top) forward. The wooden timbers from the frame fell forward and struck an adjustable base plate, causing it to fall into the lift shaft. The base plate struck the deceased worker who was inside the lift shaft.

    Investigation Findings and Charges
  6. Investigations revealed the following failures by TGG Pte. Ltd.:
    1. Untrained workers for the formwork dismantling;
    2. Risk assessment (“RA”) and safe work procedure (“SWP”) for formwork dismantling not disseminated to those carrying out the works and safety measures identified not taken;
    3. No RA and SWP for catch platform dismantling at the 31st storey;
    4. Failed to properly coordinate works and ensure that safety netting was installed; and
    5. Failed to address the risk of falling from height.
  7. TGG Pte. Ltd. was charged under section 12(1) read with section 20 of the Workplace Safety and Health Act (Chapter 354A) for failing in its duty as an employer to take, so far as was reasonably practicable, measures that were necessary to ensure the safety and health of its employees at work, and punishable under section 5(b) of the said Act (maximum fine of $500,000).
  8. The investigations also revealed that TGG Pte. Ltd.’s Managing Director, Kwek Teng Kian, who was responsible for the overall site safety for TGG Pte. Ltd., and the person who gave instructions for the formwork dismantling at the 38th storey, had failed to exercise all such diligence to prevent the commission of the offence by TGG Pte. Ltd.
  9. Kwek Teng Kian was charged under section 48(1)(b) read with section 12(1) and section 20 of the Workplace Safety and Health Act (Chapter 354A), for failing in his duty as the Managing Director of TGG Pte. Ltd. to exercise all such diligence to prevent the commission of the offence by TGG Pte. Ltd. and punishable under Section 50(a) of the said Act (fine not exceeding $200,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years or to both).