Jurong Shipyard fined S$230,000 over fatal accident

Jurong Shipyard fined S$230,000 over fatal accident

SINGAPORE: Jurong Shipyard has been fined S$230,000 for a fatal incident in 2015, in which a worker died from injuries sustained after he was struck and caught between a gantry crane and a manifold, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said on Monday (Jun 4). 

In a press release, MOM said Jurong Shipyard had pleaded guilty to an offence of failing to take reasonably practicable measures to ensure that its workplace was safe.

On Mar 20, 2015, Yeo Chye Mong Stephen, who was employed as a safety coordinator and patrol man by Foo Ngan Marine, a subcontractor of Jurong Shipyard, was conducting safety checks at 5 Jalan Samulun.

He was doing so near the manifolds located along the track of a gantry crane that was in operation, lifting pieces of rolled up welding cables.

Shortly after, a co-worker found Yeo lying on the ground between a utility water supply manifold and the gantry crane’s track. 

He was taken to the hospital but succumbed to his injuries later that day.

Jurong Shipyard Manifold 1

Investigations revealed there was a systemic failure in how Jurong Shipyard performed the lifting operation using the gantry crane, MOM said, adding that these failures made the workplace dangerous, and also resulted in the accident, which led to the death. 

The failures included not ensuring that there were sufficient visual warning signs to keep out of the lifting zone while operations were in progress.

The company also failed to appoint a banksman to ensure that the travelling path of the gantry crane along the track was free from people within the lifting zone, MOM said.

Jurong Shipyard Manifold 2

It also failed to ensure that there was sufficient passageway clearance between the gantry crane track and the utility water supply manifold, MOM added.

Mr Sebastian Tan, MOM’s Director of Occupational Safety and Health Inspectorate, said there were several safety lapses that were not addressed in this case. 

"The width of the passageway for the gantry crane fell short of established safety standards as set out in the Code of Practice. Inadequacy in the risk assessment resulted in the lack of control measures to monitor and coordinate the safe movement of workers during lifting operations involving the gantry crane. 

"The company could have taken simple measures such as the deployment of banksman or warning signs to prevent the accident but it did not. A worker unfortunately paid the price with his life," he added.

Earlier this year, Jurong Shipyard was fined S$230,000 over the deaths of two employees after they fell 30m from a hydraulic crane and died. That accident took place in 2011.

Source: CNA/ms(aj)