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OUB Centre, employer charged over death of 1-Altitude security officer who fell into manhole

OUB Centre, employer charged over death of 1-Altitude security officer who fell into manhole

File photo of 1-Altitude. (Photo: 1-Altitude)

SINGAPORE: Almost three years after a security officer fell into a 4m-deep manhole at the 1-Altitude Gallery & Bar and died, several companies and their management representatives have been charged with workplace safety lapses linked to the man's death.

These include OUB Centre, which is the occupier of the rooftop at 1 Raffles Place where the manhole was; food and beverage company Synergyinthesky which ran 1-Altitude; and A&P Maintenance Services.

Mr Shaun Tung Mun Hon, 26, died of a head injury after falling into a gondola pit at the second floor of the 1-Altitude Gallery & Bar in the early hours of Jun 9, 2019.

He had reportedly been trying to warn guests against entering the cordoned-off area when he fell into the pit.

A coroner ruled his death "an unfortunate workplace accident" in August 2020, adding that it could have been avoided had safety standards been observed.

On Thursday (Mar 3), Mr Tung's employer Synergyinthesky was charged with failing to take measures necessary to ensure the health and safety of its employees at work.

These include failing to adequately consider the hazards created by the floor opening of a gondola pit and implementing relevant risk control measures, and failing to establish and implement safe work procedures for its security officers.

Synergyinthesky's chief executive officer and managing director Ong Han Peng, 50, was similarly given a charge under the Workplace Safety and Health Act of failing to take necessary measures to ensure the safety and health of his employees at work.

His lawyer said Ong has tested positive for COVID-19 and asked for time to take instructions from his client.

OUB Centre, the occupier of the rooftop at 1 Raffles Place Tower 1, was charged with failing to take measures to ensure that all access to the area and the gondola pit was safe and without risk to health to everyone on those premises.

It was also charged with contravening the Workplace Safety and Health Act by failing to ensure that the opening to the gondola pit was covered or guarded by effective barriers to prevent a fall. It is alleged that failures in this resulted in the death of Mr Tung, charge sheets stated.

Rodney Yeo Kuang Hsing, a director of OUB Centre, was also charged with failing to ensure the opening to the pit was covered or guarded by effective barriers.

Cleaning company A & P Maintenance Services was given two charges under the Workplace Safety and Health Act. The company engaged cleaning firm Clearvisions Cleaning Solutions to clean the exterior of Tower 1 at 1 Raffles Place, but allegedly failed to ascertain that Clearvisions had conducted a risk assessment linked to its cleaning work.

A & P Maintenance Services is also accused of failing to conduct an adequate assessment of the risks concerning the floor opening at the gondola pit and failing to promptly implement a solution to the gondola's obstruction by a structural beam, leaving the floor opening exposed.

The company's senior operations manager overseeing the facade cleaning works at the tower, 62-year-old Teo Eng Hua, was similarly charged.

Parties will return to court at a later date for further mentions of their cases.

Source: CNA/ll(rw)

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