Kingsford Construction fined for safety lapses at Hillview worksite
Deterrent fine for repeated regulatory infringements arising from MOM’s inspections
- Kingsford Construction Pte Ltd (Kingsford) was convicted and fined $130,000 under the Workplace Safety and Health Act (WSHA) for multiple safety lapses uncovered during an inspection conducted by the Ministry of Manpower’s (MOM) Occupational Safety and Health Inspectorate on 8 June 2016.
- The same worksite had been inspected on two earlier occasions, in October 2014 and May 2015. For the inspection on 31 Oct 2014, a full stop work order (SWO) was issued as multiple safety lapses such as open sides and staircases without handrails that could lead to fall from heights were found. Kingsford was given a composition fine of $10,000. The SWO was lifted on 18 Nov 2014 following rectification of the identified lapses. During the second inspection on 21 May 2015, the same lapses were identified and a partial SWO was issued. Kingsford was also made to pay $19,000 in composition fines. The SWO was lifted on 15 June 2015 after an inspection determined that the safety lapses were rectified.
- During the inspection on 8 June 2016, safety lapses that occurred in the previous two inspections were again uncovered. A full stop-work order was issued from 8 June 2016 to 18 July 2016. Given the repeated failures and recalcitrant attitude towards workplace safety and health, Kingsford was charged under section 11(a) read with section 20 of the Workplace Safety and Health Act (Chapter 354A), for its failure to take reasonably practicable measures to ensure the safety and health of its employees.
- Mr Chan Yew Kwong, MOM’s Director of Occupational Safety and Health Inspectorate said, “MOM sought for a heavy penalty because of Kingsford’s blatant disregard for safety and its repeated failures to comply with our regulatory requirements. Companies must address all safety failures identified during a MOM inspection and put in place effective measures to prevent recurrence. They should not put their workers’ lives at risk and wait for an accident to happen before taking safety seriously.”
Details of inspection
- Kingsford was engaged to carry out construction works of a condominium development. The inspected premises consisted of three residential blocks, two basement carparks, a swimming pool and other clubhouse facilities.
- MOM’s inspection in 2016 revealed the following safety failures by Kingsford:
i. Open sides at eight different locations (ranging from the 2nd to the 11th floor of various blocks under construction) were not covered or guarded by effective guard-rails or barriers to prevent fall from heights;
ii. Staircases not provided with handrails, exposing persons to the risk of falling off the edge of either side of the staircase;
iii. Staircases not provided with emergency lighting for use in the event of a power failure, exposing workers to the risk of tripping as some of the steps of the staircase were undergoing modification works;
iv. Poor housekeeping at multiple places of work in work site, exposing workers to risk of tripping; and
v. Safety interlock of several passenger and material hoists at the worksite were not properly functioning; the gates of the hoists could be opened when the platform was elevated from the landing position, exposing persons to risks of falling down the way or coming into contact with moving parts of the hoists.