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Man dies after ladder slips in Yishun workplace accident

Man dies after ladder slips in Yishun workplace accident

Position of the worker on the ladder just before he fell. (Photo: Workplace Safety and Health Council)

SINGAPORE: A 59-year-old worker died when a ladder he was on slipped during a workplace accident last month, said the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) on Wednesday (Jan 19).

The accident, which occurred at 1024 Yishun Industrial Park A on Dec 24, happened when he was descending from the ladder which was leaning against the edge of a mezzanine level. 

The ladder slipped, causing the worker to fall and hit his head against the floor. He was subsequently taken to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, where he died three days later.

According to an alert from the Workplace Safety and Health Council (WSHC) on Jan 19, the man had fallen about 1.7m from the unsecured A-frame ladder.

The occupier of the premises and also the man's employer is bag and luggage wholesaler Sin Kwang Wah. 

MOM said it is investigating the accident and has instructed the employer to stop all access to the mezzanine.
 
"With this accident, the total number of workplace fatalities in 2021 stands at 37," said MOM. 

"There are no workplace fatalities in 2022 to-date.”

In its alert, WSHC cautioned against using an A-frame ladder as a leaning ladder.

"When using an A-frame ladder, ensure it is placed on stable and flat ground and that it is fully opened with spreaders locked," it said.

It recommended the use of a step platform, or platform ladders, to work at a higher level instead.

A step platform, which will allow workers to work safely for more complex tasks (e.g. transfer of goods) and for longer durations. (Graphic: WSHC)

Workers should also be equipped with a safety helmet to protect against head injuries.

Leaning ladders used to access another level should be tied and extended at least 1m above the landing point to provide a secure handhold.

Its base should be secured, with guard railings installed on the level being accessed to prevent falls from that level.

Leaning ladders used to access another level should be tied and extended at least one metre above the landing point to provide a secure handhold (Figure 3) and have its base secured (Figure 4) to prevent ladder slippage.
Source: CNA/ic(gr)

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