Construction worker dies following collapse of crane at Novena worksite

A worker was pronounced dead at the scene by a Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) paramedic on Mon morning (4 Nov), following the collapse of a crane at a construction site in Novena.

The Straits Times reported SCDF as saying that it received a call for help regarding the incident at approximately 8.50 a.m.

SCDF added that another worker at the site was taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) to be treated for injuries.

Other workers told ST that the deceased worker was an Indian national. They added that the other worker, who sustained leg injuries, is a Bangladeshi.

Responding to ST‘s queries, crane retailer and specialist firm Crane World Asia confirmed that its crane had collapsed at the Novena worksite, and that it was looking into the incident.

The worksite, upon completion of construction, will house a new 17-storey 500-bed rehabilitation complex that will operate under TTSH.

The construction of the complex, a project under the Ministry of Health (MOH), began in Mar 2017 and is slated to be completed by 2022.

According to workplace safety statistics released by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and the Workplace Safety and Health Council earlier last month, the number of workplace deaths “was the lowest absolute number of workplace fatalities since 2012”.

Out of the 17 workplace deaths recorded between Jan and Jun this year, six occurred at construction sites, while two took place in the manufacturing sector.

Other than the collapse of equipment or structures such as that in the case in Novena today, falling from high points and meeting with traffic accidents were observed as among the primary causes of workplace deaths.

Director of policy, information and corporate services at MOM, Christopher Koh, said that while the seven-year low of workplace deaths is “encouraging”, the increase in the number of non-fatal injuries “including in industries that were previously less accident-prone” signals that “we cannot be complacent”.

The number of non-fatal workplace injuries between Jan and Jun this year rose from those in the same period in 2018, namely from 6,073 to 6,561. Most of the injuries were caused by falling, slipping and tripping at worksites.

Following the findings, MOM said that it will conduct 2,500 inspections in the second half of 2019, in addition to releasing the workplace safety records of companies in 2020.