Saturday, 30 September 2023

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Reversing vehicle claims life of migrant worker at Jurong West site, prompting MOM investigation

SINGAPORE — A fatal incident took place at a Jurong West worksite on Monday (11 Jul), when a reversing vehicle struck a 33-year-old Indian worker, resulting in his death.

The accident happened around 3.40pm at 1 Buroh Close, where Star Ready-Mix operates a site. This was reported by the Minister of Manpower to the Straits Times.

The victim, employed by BSN Tech Engineering, was preparing his tipper truck for unloading when he was hit by a reversing wheel loader, typically used for lifting materials at construction sites.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force said that a paramedic at the scene pronounced the man dead.

The Straits Times contacted Star Ready-Mix, the site occupier, for additional information, which is pending.

MOM said that it is currently investigating the case. In the interim, MOM has ordered Star Ready-Mix to halt all vehicular operations at the site.

MOM emphasized the responsibility of employers to establish adequate traffic management plans to mitigate risks associated with vehicle use.

The Ministry pointed to the need for segregated access between vehicles and people, as well as the importance of preventing simultaneous incompatible vehicular operations.

This tragedy marks the 15th workplace death in Singapore for this year, as of June 21. The incident follows a year of rising workplace fatalities, with 46 recorded in 2022 – the highest number since 2016’s total of 66.

The Assistant Secretary-General of the National Trades Union Congress, Mr. Melvin Yong, recently voiced his concerns over the alarming increase in workplace accidents. He emphasised the pressing need for immediate intervention and measures to ensure worker safety.

Mr Yong pointed out the unsettling fact that in just a month and a half, there have been 15 fatalities in workplaces, four of which occurred after the termination of the Heightened Safety Period (HSP) on May 31, 2023. He stressed the need for enhancing efforts and making worker safety a priority across all organisations.

The People’s Action Party Member of Parliament further noted the devastating impact of each life lost on the families of the workers and others involved. He insisted that such tragedies should not be allowed to continue repeating. In his view, each life lost signified a massive failure in maintaining the duty of care towards workers by those responsible.

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