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Worker dies after falling into the sea off Jurong Island

There have been 42 workplace fatalities so far in 2022, exceeding the figure of 37 for the whole of 2021.

Worker dies after falling into the sea off Jurong Island

File photo of vessels anchored near Jurong Island oil refinery in Singapore. (Photo: AFP/ROSLAN RAHMAN)

SINGAPORE: A worker died on Friday (Nov 25) when he fell into the sea off Jurong Island while conducting scaffolding works.

It was one of two workplace deaths last week, bringing the number of fatalities to 42 so far this year. This exceeds the figure of 37 reported for the whole of last year. 

The other worker, a 69-year-old man, died on Nov 26 when he fell from a height of about 9m while cleaning window panes at a condominium unit.


The incident on Nov 25 occurred at 1 Merlimau Road on Jurong Island, the address of Singapore Refining Company. 

The body of the worker, a 41-year-old Indian national, was found on the same day.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said it received a call for help at about 11am. 

Divers from its Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (DART) were deployed, along with an underwater Remotely-Operated Vehicle (ROV). 

The worker was employed by Plant General Services, said the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) in a media statement on Tuesday.

"MOM is investigating the accident, and has issued a stop work order to the employer to stop scaffolding operations at the piers," said the ministry.

"As a general safety measure, workers working near the sea or large water bodies should be protected by adequate fall protection measures, as well as a response plan for emergencies."


The second fatality was a 69-year-old Singaporean who fell while cleaning external window panes at a vacated unit at Hilltops Condominium, located at 99 Cairnhill Circle.

He fell from a height of about 9m and landed on the ground below, said MOM.

The worker was not wearing personal fall protection equipment and was pronounced dead at the scene by a paramedic, it added.

MOM is investigating the accident and has instructed the employer, Home Cleanz Cleaning & Laundry Services, to stop all work-at-height activities. 

As a general safety measure, window cleaning should be carried out from within a room or place where there is no risk of falling, said MOM, adding that if that was not possible, cleaners must then be "effectively protected by fall restraining or fall arresting equipment". 

Slips, trips, and falls were found to be the leading cause of major workplace injuries in the first half of this year.

In September, companies in higher-risk sectors were required to conduct a mandatory safety time-out to review safety procedures and those failing to do so risked getting debarred from employing new foreign employees for one month.

A six-month period of heightened safety is currently in place until Feb 28, 2023.

Source: CNA/st(rj)


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