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Man dies after falling 20m from condominium roof in West Coast, third workplace death in about a week

Man dies after falling 20m from condominium roof in West Coast, third workplace death in about a week

A screengrab from Google Street View showing Westcove Condominium. (Image: Google Maps)

SINGAPORE: A 37-year-old worker died after he fell 20m from the roof of a condominium in West Coast, said the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) on Tuesday (May 31). 

This is the third reported workplace death in about a week. 

The Bangladeshi worker was performing waterproofing works on the roof of 16 West Coast Crescent, Westcove condominium, at about 10.45am on May 24 when he slipped and fell, said MOM.

He landed about 20m on the ground below and was taken to National University Hospital, where he died of his injuries shortly after. The occupier and employer is RJ Contract, the ministry added.

"MOM is investigating the accident, and has instructed the occupier to stop all work activities within the premises," the ministry said.

"As a general safety measure, every means by which a worker may fall from height (for example, open sides, openings and fragile surfaces) should be identified and guarded or covered. In addition, workers should be equipped with safety equipment to prevent falls," it added. 

THIRD REPORTED WORKPLACE DEATH IN ABOUT A WEEK

This is the third reported workplace death in about a week.

On May 19, a 49-year-old man died after he fell through a skylight and landed 9.5m below on the factory floor in Joo Koon. He was taken to hospital, where he died of his injuries on the same day.

On May 27, a 49-year-old worker died after being pinned under a large metal cylindrical pipe when a lorry crane toppled on its side. He was freed by rescuers and taken to hospital, where he died of his injuries on the same day.

There have been 25 workplace deaths in 2022 so far, higher than the 23 workplace deaths recorded in the first half of 2021. 

It is also higher than the number of deaths in the first half of 2019 - before the COVID-19 pandemic - when 17 deaths were recorded.

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said there have been "far too many" workplace fatalities in 2022, and safety standards and practices "seem to have slipped". 

"This is far too many, and not acceptable," said Mr Lee in a Facebook post on May 9.

"We have been working hard for years to prevent workplace accidents, especially deaths," he added.

"We have made good progress. But with our economy reopening and activities ramping up, safety standards and practices seem to have slipped. Accident rates have gone up, and we have lost ground. We must put this right."

On May 8, MOM, along with the Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Council, National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) and industry partners, called on companies to conduct a safety time-out, amid a "worrying spate" of workplace fatalities across various industries. 

Safety time-outs typically involve taking a pause in work for senior management to engage workers and unions in reinforcing workplace safety and health processes, and to act on any issues raised.

During the safety time-out, companies were tasked to ensure that they have effective workplace safety and health management systems, including reviewing their risk assessments. They also had to ensure that all their workers implement risk control measures, and have safety training relevant to their roles.

Source: CNA/lk(mi)

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