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Singapore

Director jailed for operating excavator without formal training, causing worker's death

 Director jailed for operating excavator without formal training, causing worker's death

File photo of the State Courts in Singapore. (Photo: Calvin Oh)

SINGAPORE: A director of a transport company operated an excavator without formal training, causing the death of a worker. 

Kasi Seenivasan, the director of SKN Transport Services, was sentenced to six months and two weeks’ jail for “committing a negligent act which resulted in the death of a worker”, said the Ministry of Manpower in a press release on Tuesday (Mar 29).

The incident happened on Mar 1, 2019, and involved a worker who had been illegally employed by SKN Transport as a truck driver, according to sentencing remarks.

The worker was at SKN premises to offload a skip bin of hardcore debris from a truck he was driving.

However, the door of the skip bin was blocked by an excavator parked nearby. Kasi, who was present at the same time, then operated the excavator to move it out of the way.  

“While doing so, the excavator struck the worker, who was standing next to the truck, causing him to hit his head against the skip bin’s door,” said MOM. 

When Kasi got down from the excavator, he saw the worker holding his head with both hands, with blood coming out of his nose, according to the sentencing remarks.

The worker was taken to the hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries the following day. 

“Investigations revealed that Kasi did not attend any formal training on operating an excavator prior to the accident and was thus not equipped with the skills to handle an excavator safely,” said the ministry. 

Investigations also revealed that despite the lack of formal training, Kasi had been operating the excavator within the premises since it was purchased in September 2018. 

“In doing so, Kasi failed in his duty to ensure the safe operation of an excavator as well as the safety of others when carrying out his work,” said MOM.

“His negligence endangered the safety of a worker, and ultimately caused his death.”

Kasi was sentenced to six months and two weeks imprisonment for offences under the Workplace Safety and Health Act (WSHA).

He also faced two other charges, as the director of SKN, for failing to ensure the safety of his worker, and for illegal employment. These were taken into consideration for the purpose of sentencing.

He pleaded guilty to charges of committing a negligent act, which resulted in the death of a worker.

Source: CNA/yb

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