Company director dies after falling through floor opening in house being renovated
A construction company director died last week after he fell through an opening in the floor of a semi-detached house that was undergoing addition and alteration works.
The 53-year-old permanent resident was overseeing construction work at the two-storey house at 38 University Walk, when he fell through the opening and landed on a staircase 4.7m below. The fatal accident on Feb 10 was the fourth work-related death that took place over the first 10 days of the month, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) told The Straits Times yesterday. MOM is investigating all four incidents.
The Singapore Civil Defence Force was alerted to the Feb 10 incident at 11.40am and the man was taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital, where ST understands he was pronounced dead.
He is believed to be Mr Koh Kok Heng, one of two people listed as directors at JMS Construction. It has been ordered to stop all works.
MOM will continue to intensify its enforcement efforts, with a greater focus on the risk of working at heights. This is the second time in about six months that a worker has died after falling through an opening in the floor at a construction site.
On Wednesday, the Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Council reminded those in the industry to conduct a comprehensive risk assessment before allowing work to proceed. Floor openings must be identified, securely covered or have guard rails installed. Warning signs must also be put up.
The four deaths this month come after a previous spate of five fatalities that occurred over two weeks last year. Between Nov 23 and Dec 2, five workers died in separate incidents, of which two were in construction. A sixth fatality was reported on Dec 15 at a Land Transport Authority construction site beside the Changi MRT depot.
The WSH Council and the Singapore Contractors Association called for an industry-wide safety time-out in response to the deaths, while the MOM conducts 400 inspections between Dec 10 and Feb 15, targeting high-risk sectors such as construction, manufacturing and marine. The inspections uncovered about 450 contraventions in just over a month and four stop-work orders were issued.