The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said in a press release on Monday (Jun 4) that it has fined Jurong Shipyard Pte Ltd for a safety lapses in 2015. The fatal incident has reportedly led to the death of a worker from injuries, after he was struck and caught between a gantry crane and a manifold. MOM found the company guilty as it failed to take reasonably practicable measures to ensure a safety environment in its worksite.
According to MOM’s investigation, on Mar 20, 2015, Yeo Chye Mong Stephen who was employed as a safety coordinator and patrol man by Foo Ngan Marine, a subcontractor of Jurong Shipyard, was conducting safety checks at 5 Jalan Samulun. He was working in close proximity to the manifolds located along the track of an operating gantry crane that was lifting pieces of rolled up welding cables.
Shortly after, one of his coworkers found Mr Yeo lying on the ground between a utility water supply manifold and the gantry crane’s track. He was immediately taken to the hospital but succumbed to his injuries later that day, Channel News Asia reports.
MOM said that there was a systemic failure in how Jurong Shipyard performed the lifting operation using the gantry crane. These failures have resulted in dangerous workplace that led to the fatal accident and caused the death. The company was pleaded guilty to fail in appointing a banksman to ensure that the travelling path of the gantry crane along the track was free from people within the lifting zone.
Additionally, Jurong Shipyard was unable to ensure that there were sufficient visual warning signs to keep out of the lifting zone while operations were in progress. It also failed to ensure that there was sufficient passageway clearance between the gantry crane track and the utility water supply manifold, MOM said.
Regarding the case, MOM’s Director of Occupational Safety and Health Inspectorate, Sebastian Tan commented that there were several safety lapses that were not addressed in this case.
“The width of the passageway for the gantry crane fell short of established safety standards as set out in the Code of Practice. Inadequacy in the risk assessment resulted in the lack of control measures to monitor and coordinate the safe movement of workers during lifting operations involving the gantry crane.
“The company could have taken simple measures such as the deployment of banksman or warning signs to prevent the accident but it did not. A worker unfortunately paid the price with his life,” he added.
Earlier this year, Jurong Shipyard was also fined S$230,000 over the deaths of two employees after they fell 30m from a hydraulic crane and died. That accident took place in 2011.