25.11.2020

Another fatal crush incident

Singapore’s Workplace Safety and Health Council has issued an ‘Accident Notification’ regarding a fatal crushing incident on Monday.

It seems that a man was using a boom lift and as he raised the boom to the work point, he came into contact with an overhead beam that pressed him against the controls and took his life. We had not heard of this incident until receiving this alert and have so far found little, if anything, to add to the following. If you have more information, please do contact us and we will update this item. This is the third fatal entrapment crush incident in just over a week with one in Switzerland on Nov 16 and another in Ontario, Canada on Nov 18.

The full text of the bulletin is as follows:

Accident Alert
Worker caught in between boom lift guardrail and roof structure

On 23 November 2020, a worker was raising the work platform of a boom lift when he was caught between the guardrail of the boom lift and a roofing structural member. The injured worker was subsequently extricated and pronounced dead at the scene by attending paramedics.

The Ministry of Manpower has commenced investigations into the accident.

Occupiers, employers and principals are reminded to conduct a comprehensive Risk Assessment for all work activities requiring the use of a mobile elevated work platform such as a boom lift. Workers should scan the work area for potential obstructions and pinch points both before and during operation. Allow only competent workers to operate the work platform. Advise workers not to lean over the guardrail as the platform is being raised. Consider installing a secondary guarding device (e.g. physical barrier or pressure sensing bar) to reduce the risk of entrapment while working on the platform. The use of an overhead obstacle proximity warning system may also be useful to alert operators of a dangerous situation.

Information on the accident is based on preliminary investigations by the Ministry of Manpower as at 24 Nov 2020. This may be subject to change as investigations are still on-going. Please note that the recommendations provided here are not exhaustive and they are meant to enhance workplace safety and health so that a recurrence may be prevented.

The information and recommendations provided are not to be construed as implying any liability on any party nor should it be taken to encapsulate all the responsibilities and obligations under the law.

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