SINGAPORE: The toppling of a machine that led to the death of a Singaporean worker on Dec 27 was the result of the forks of a forklift not being fully inserted, according to preliminary investigations.
In an alert released on Thursday (Jan 5), the Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Council said the lifting of the partially inserted forks then caused the machine to topple.
The 31-year-old worker, Mr Ely Chow, was struck and pinned down by the machine while it was in the process of being transferred by the forklift.
Mr Chow, who was employed by RCM Resources, was then taken unconscious from the work site at Rifle Range Road to Ng Teng Fong General Hospital where he was subsequently pronounced dead.
A 62-year-old man was also arrested for causing death by a negligent act and investigations are ongoing.
The death of Mr Chow brought the number of workplace fatalities last year to 45, exceeding the 37 workplace deaths reported for the whole of 2021.
The WSH Council said there were six cases of forklift-related fatal workplace accidents in 2022.
"As forklift accidents can lead to serious injuries and death, the WSH Council calls on all companies using forklifts to undertake an urgent assessment of their safety measures in the use of forklifts," it said.
The Ministry of Manpower had called for a six-month period of heightened safety from Sep 1, 2022 to Feb 28, 2023 in response to a higher rate of workplace fatalities.
It announced in September last year that companies in higher-risk sectors were required to conduct a mandatory safety time-out to review safety procedures, as part of the measures introduced under the heightened safety period.