Worker injured in Joo Koon accident was conducting tests on maintenance train: SMRT

Worker injured in Joo Koon accident was conducting tests on maintenance train: SMRT

SINGAPORE: A recent accident which injured an SMRT worker happened when a six-member team was preparing a maintenance train to return to the depot after completing work on the track, the transport company said in a media release on Friday (Dec 21).

The release detailed how the team was conducting a brake test which involves some movement of the maintenance train. At the same time, one of the team was on the track to inspect the train for oil leaks.

READ: 'We'll take care of our staff': SMRT CEO, after employee injured during track maintenance work

The accident that happened at about 4.10am on Dec 12 saw an injured staff being sent to the hospital where the lower part of his right leg was amputated. 

“The brake test was stopped immediately when one of the team members spotted the injured staff lying on the track,” said SMRT.

“The rest of the team went forward to provide first aid to the injured staff whose right foot had been rolled over by the maintenance train,” it added.

"The brake test is a necessary procedure to ensure that the locomotives and the track tamping machine are properly coupled and that the brakes are functioning before moving back to the depot. This test involves limited movement of the maintenance train," said SMRT.

“SCDF was activated and the injured staff was sent to the hospital where the lower part of his right leg was amputated.”

It added that the injured staff “is currently in a stable condition”.

The injured worker is "in good spirits" but he is concerned about his job, said National Transport Workers’ Union (NTWU) executive secretary Melvin Yong on Friday.

"I have visited the injured worker together with our NTWU branch leaders and I'm glad that he is in good spirits," said Mr Yong in a social media post.

"He told me that he is concerned with his job moving forward. I advised him that what's most important now is to focus on his recovery."

Mr Yong added that the union will work with SMRT management on the worker's future work assignment and is providing help to his family.

TRAIN SERVICE DISRUPTION

Train service along the East-West Line (EWL) between Gul Circle and Boon Lay was temporarily halted as a result of the accident.

SMRT engineering and operations teams conducted further checks on the track before service between Gul Circle and Boon Lay MRT stations was able to start at 6.20am, SMRT said in a statement.

"As this process required some time, the start of train service between Gul Circle and Boon Lay MRT station (both bounds) had to be delayed," it said.

"Workplace safety is a priority for us, and the maintenance teams observed a safety timeout this morning to remind them of the importance of safety," it added.

READ: SMRT employee injured during track maintenance work near Joo Koon station

SMRT Group CEO Neo Kian Hong said on Dec 14 that SMRT is "very saddened" by the accident, and that he had been going to the hospital every day to visit the employee.

"The investigations are ongoing, and we take it very seriously," said Mr Neo to Channel NewsAsia. "More importantly, we're taking care of the injured person." 

SMRT said it is assisting the Ministry of Manpower’s Occupational Safety and Health Division in its investigation.

Source: CNA/jt(db)

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