Contractor fined S$280,000 after worker crushed to death by toppled gate at Bartley Road

Contractor fined S$280,000 after worker crushed to death by toppled gate at Bartley Road

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

SINGAPORE: A steel engineering company was on Tuesday (Jul 18) fined S$280,000 for failing to ensure the safety of its workers, resulting in the death of a worker who was crushed by a gate in September 2014.

Sterling Engineering was convicted after an 18-day trial for the offence, said the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) in a news release.

The accident happened at a construction site at Bartley Road on Sep 2, 2014. Five workers were tasked to install a metal gate measuring about 3m high and 4.6m wide.

Bartley road gate accident
An overview of the accident scene as viewed from within the depot. Photo: Ministry of Manpower) 

As the gate was not opening or closing smoothly, the workers were instructed to check the sliding motion of the gate leaves. When the workers pulled the steel sliding gate, it toppled and pinned one of them to the ground.

The gate weighed about 1,500kg.

Steel gate bartley road
The guide roller and outriggers installed on the gate leaves. (Photo: Ministry of Manpower) 

MOM said Sterling Engineering failed to conduct a thorough risk assessment on the hazards of moving the gate and the risk of it toppling.

"In this case, the weight and size of the gate leaf alone should have alerted the employer to the safety risks that its workers were being exposed to," said the ministry's director of occupational safety and health inspectorate Chan Yew Kwong.

In addition, MOM said that the company failed to ensure that safety measures were followed during the process of installing the gate. For instance. temporary stoppers to prevent the gate from "over-travelling" and consequently toppling were not installed.

The installation was also done without a Permit-to-Work approval, and the company failed to ensure that its workers had adequate information and supervision. 

"A heavy fine was sought for this case to remind employers that they bear full responsibility for the safety of their workers throughout the work process," said Mr Chan.

Source: CNA/am