Contractor's fine increased to S$330,000 after failed appeal in case where worker fatally crushed by gate

Contractor's fine increased to S$330,000 after failed appeal in case where worker fatally crushed by gate

steel gate collapse bartley
A construction worker was killed by a falling metal gate in September 2014. (Photo: Ministry of Manpower) 

SINGAPORE: Steel engineering company, Sterling Engineering, has had its fine for failing to ensure the safety of its workers increased, after its appeal against the conviction was dismissed by the High Court on Apr 9.

Five workers were pulling a steel sliding gate, which they were installing at a worksite at Bartley Road in September 2014, when it toppled and fatally pinned one worker to the ground.

In a media release on Tuesday (Apr 17), the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said the company had its fine increased to S$330,000 from S$280,000.The State Courts had convicted and sentenced the company on Jul 18, 2017 after a trial.

The company subsequently filed an appeal against the conviction and sentence.

The prosecution also filed an appeal to increase the fine amount. 

MOM's release said that among other things, Sterling Engineering had argued that the design of the gate, which was not under the company’s purview, caused the accident.

The appeals were heard before Justice Aedit Abdullah, who held that while the company may not be able to alter the design of the gate, it was still its responsibility, as a fabricator and installer, to ensure safety.

The company fell short of the standards required for risk assessment and safety measures during installation. 

The High Court judge dismissed the company’s appeal against conviction and sentencing.

Mr Sebastian Tan, MOM’s Director of Occupational Safety and Health Inspectorate, said: "As the installer of the gate, the employer has a duty to identify all safety risks, including design-related ones, and implement the appropriate control measures to address these risks. The company did neither and a worker needlessly lost his life."

MOM said it will not hesitate to take such errant companies to task.

Source: CNA/ms(aj)

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