SINGAPORE: A 49-year-old worker died on Friday (Oct 1) at a construction site in Pioneer after he was crushed by a 20-foot container during the unloading process by a side loader, a Ministry of Manpower (MOM) spokesperson said on Monday.
Police officers were called to a construction site at 15 Pioneer Crescent at about 8.59am on Friday. A 42-year-old man was arrested for a rash act causing death, the police said on Sunday, adding that investigations are ongoing.
The worker, a Singaporean man, was pronounced dead at the scene by a paramedic, said the MOM spokesperson.
The occupier and employer, Allied Container (Engineers and Manufacturers), has been ordered to stop loading and unloading containers and to stop using side loaders, the MOM spokesperson said, adding that the ministry is investigating the incident.
The accident brought the total number of workplace fatalities this year to 30, the same figure reported for the whole of 2020.
"This is a grim milestone that none of us would wish to reach," assistant secretary-general of the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) Melvin Yong said on Sunday.
In a Facebook post, Mr Yong said he was "deeply saddened to hear about yet another workplace fatality".
"The lives lost to workplace accidents are not just a statistic," Mr Yong said. "The workers leave behind loved ones, mouths to feed, and questions to be answered."
He pointed out the latest fatality comes amid an ongoing inquiry into an explosion at a workshop in Tuas in February that killed three workers.
That inquiry "has raised worrying practices such as ignoring red flags and improper use of machinery", Mr Yong noted.
He urged companies in the construction sector and logistics and transportation sector to learn from recent incidents and "quickly put in place measures ... to plug any gaps in safety".
The construction sector and logistics and transportation sector accounted for more than half of this year's workplace fatalities, Mr Yong said. Nine and eight workers have died in the construction sector and the logistics and transportation sector respectively.
NTUC will work with other unions to "push out more reminders and advisories" to workers to "increase their alertness at the worksite and to help look out for one another’s safety and well-being", Mr Yong said.
"We can, and must, do more to stop this alarming rise in workplace fatalities because every worker matters and every life matters."