Singapore

Worker dies in workplace accident after sheet pile falls on him

A 29-year-old Bangladeshi worker at a Land Transport Authority (LTA) construction site beside the Changi MRT depot died yesterday morning after a workplace accident.

This comes after five workplace fatalities in the two weeks between late last month and early this month, prompting the labour movement to urge companies to prioritise and safeguard workers' safety.

SHEET PILES

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said the latest accident occurred in Koh Sek Lim Road, which runs into the Changi MRT depot. The police said they were alerted to the accident at 9.58am yesterday.

In a statement last night, LTA said: "During the extraction of sheet piles, the welding joint holding two sheet piles together broke, causing part of the sheet pile to fall on a worker. The worker was pronounced dead at the scene."

Sheet piles are usually made of steel, timber or concrete. They are used in construction to help retain soil and provide excavation support, and can be permanent or temporary structures.

"A safety timeout has been imposed on T315 (worksite) for the contractor to review work processes relating to sheet pile extraction.

"LTA has also reminded all project teams and contractors to observe worksite safety," said a spokesman, adding that LTA is assisting MOM and the police in their investigations.

LTA is saddened by the accident and will work with Lum Chang Building Contractors to help the victim's family, said the spokesman.

Lum Chang was awarded the $325 million contract for the project in 2016.

The scope of the project includes building a new platform at Tanah Merah station and extending the East-West Line train tracks to connect the new East Coast Integrated Depot in Changi.

National Trades Union Congress assistant secretary-general Melvin Yong said in a Facebook post on Dec 4 that the number of workplace fatalities this year was more than two-thirds of the total last year, when 39 lives were lost.

ACCIDENTS FIRE FLOOD