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Individual Sentenced to 4 Months' Jail for Negligent Act Which Led To Death of One Worker

1. A 42-year-old Singaporean senior field supervisor Muhammed Noredzuan Bin Othman ("Noredzuan"), was sentenced to 4 months’ imprisonment under section 15(3A) of the Workplace Safety and Health Act ("WSHA") on 19 August 2021. He pleaded guilty to one charge of committing a negligent act, which resulted in the death of a fellow worker.


Case Summary

2. On 1 January 2016, a pipe fitter and welder Chin Chee Cheng ("Chin") and his co-worker were tasked with repairing a leaking pipe joint along the pipeline of a High Pressure Gas Compressor (HGPC) on board a vessel. While Chin was removing a clamp connector from the pipe joint, the clamp connector dislodged and struck him. He suffered blunt force head and pelvic injuries, and was conveyed to the hospital. He succumbed to his injuries on the same day.


3. Further investigations revealed that the accident was caused by the sudden discharge of trapped residual pressurised gas in the HGPC, which ejected the clamp connector with great force.  


MOM's Investigation Findings

4. Noredzuan’s employer, Enermech Pte. Ltd ("Enermech"), had been tasked by the vessel owner to conduct Nitrogen-Helium leak tests, including on the affected pipeline. During the test, Enermech would pressurise the piping system based on set test boundaries. As the field supervisor, Noredzuan was required to walk through the piping system before the test to verify the test boundaries and valve positions, in accordance with a checklist and a Piping and Instrumentation Diagram (P&ID). This is known as a line walk.


5. MOM’s investigations found that following the first commissioning test-run on 31 December 2015, Noredzuan did not conduct the line walk to verify that the test boundaries and valve positions were in accordance with the checklist or P&ID. Instead, he endorsed the checklist and proceeded with the next test. As a result, one of the valves was not corrected to the "Open" position, and pressurised gas from the first test was trapped inside the pipeline. This led to the sudden ejection of the clamp connector on 1 January 2016.


6. By failing to conduct the line walk, Noredzuan’s negligence endangered the safety of his co-workers, and ultimately led to the death of Chin. For committing this negligent act, Noredzuan was sentenced to 4 months’ imprisonment. The company which engaged Chin for the repair works, Generco Engineering Pte Ltd, was also previously charged under section 14(1) of WSHA and fined $180,000.


7. Mr Sebastian Tan, MOM’s Director of Occupational Safety and Health Inspectorate, said, "This tragic accident could have been avoided if safe work procedures such as the line walk had been conducted properly. As the field supervisor, it was Noredzuan’s responsibility to ensure that such procedures were followed. MOM will continue to seek penalties against those who fail to implement proper safety measures. We urge employers and employees to learn from this case. We must continue to stay vigilant and implement proper safety measures to protect our workers from harm."