Recently, we heard a sad news where a worker passed away due to a workplace accident. Unfortunately, the 49-year-old worker passed away at a construction site in Pioneer after he was crushed by a 20-foot container during an unloading process.
Police officers were deployed to the accident site and arrested a 42-year-old man for a rash act causing death. More details have yet to be released regarding the accident as investigations are ongoing.
Employer has been ordered to stop using side loaders
The accident had happened during the unloading process while the worker was using a side loader. Hence, the employer, Allied Container (Engineers and Manufacturers), has been ordered by MOM to stop loading and unloading containers for the time being. They are also to stop the use of side loaders while MOM investigates the incident.
30 fatal accidents in 2021 thus far
This recent accident has brought this year’s workplace fatalities to 30, which is the figure reported for the whole of 2020.
In his Facebook post, assistant secretary-general of NTUC Melvin Yong called it a “grim milestone that none of us would wish to reach.” He said, “the lives lost to workplace accidents are not just a statistic. The workers leave behind loved ones, mouths to feed and questions to be answered.”
Prior to this fatality, there had been an explosion in Tuas which also caused three workers to lose their lives. An ongoing inquiry regarding that incident has raised worrying practices such as ignoring red flags and the improper use of machinery.
Better welfare and safety for workers
Accidents can only be prevented when companies learn to take these red flags seriously and take real actions to resolve them. Companies have to take the lead by reassessing their risk assessment and implement measures immediately to address the gaps in safety. It goes without saying that the workers’ lives and safety should be of utmost consideration.
In addition, Mr Yong said that NTUC will work with affiliated unions to remind workers to look out for their own safety and that of their co-worker’s.
Every life is precious, and these workers have families who feel immense grief with their loss. We hope that safety measures will be ramped up to ensure that no more workers lose their lives due to safety lapses again! :’(