SINGAPORE – The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said on Saturday that it will step up inspections of worksites islandwide over a two-week period from Monday. This follows a recent spate of serious accidents involving formwork structures which collapsed.
In the last week alone, two such accidents took place, but no workers were seriously injured, MOM said in a statement.
Preliminary findings showed that the formwork structures gave way during the concrete casting process. This indicated that the structures were unable to support the load imposed on them during the casting process.
The first case took place on Jan 10 at Lian Soon Construction’s worksite along Bishan Street 13. In the incident, a group of workers was carrying out concreting work for the second-floor slab of an indoor sports hall under construction when the support structure became unstable.
The workers managed to leave the area before the structure gave way, but one of them lost his footing and suffered minor injures.
A day later, a second accident occurred at SH Design & Build’s worksite at Yishun Industrial Street1. Preliminary findings showed workers were carrying out concreting work for the second-floor slab of a light industrial building under construction when the support structure started to sink. It later gave way but the workers escaped in time and none of them was hurt.
The ministry said the stepped-up inspections will target formwork practices at construction worksites, such as unsafe design and improper erection of formwork structures, and improper supervision and inspection of these structures. These will be in addition to the ministry’s regular checks on formwork structures as part of its construction safety inspections.
Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Manpower and Education Hawazi Daipi said: “We were fortunate that there were no serious injuries in the two accidents that occurred over the past week. But contractors and professional engineers must give attention to safety practices involving formwork structures.”