Six hurt after scaffold collapses

Six hurt after scaffold collapses
Paramedics from the SCDF attended to those hurt at Toa Payoh North on Wednesday. Five of the men were sent to Tan Tock Seng Hospital and the sixth received on-site treatment for minor injuries. It is the second construction-related incident this week. -- PHOTO: SHINMIN DAILY NEWS

Six workers were injured when scaffolding collapsed in Toa Payoh North on Wednesday morning - the fourth worksite-related incident reported in the last two weeks.

The site's safety officer, Mr Lenin Venugopal, said the worst injury involved one of the workers fracturing his leg after the suspended scaffolding on the second level of a building that is being constructed collapsed.

The Manpower Ministry (MOM) said preliminary investigations indicated that those injured were working on a scaffold when it gave way.

The worksite occupier Lian Soon Construction has been instructed to stop all work on site and investigations are ongoing.

MOM's director of occupational safety and health inspectorate, Mr Chan Yew Kwong, said the ministry was "concerned about the spate of accidents that have taken place in the past few days", urging companies to be proactive in carrying out thorough risk assessments and enforcing safety measures.

He added that most workplace accidents could have been prevented if companies and workers "put in more effort" to identify and mitigate risks.

When The Straits Times arrived at the scene of Wednesday's accident at noon, paramedics from the Singapore Civil Defence Force were attending to those hurt.

Five of the men were sent to Tan Tock Seng Hospital and the sixth, a Chinese national, received on-site treatment for minor injuries.

Three workers - from Bangladesh, Malaysia and China - have since been discharged. The two Bangladeshis who were admitted are in stable condition.

The site will house a new amenities building with a carpark and showrooms in an industrial cluster owned by Mapletree Industrial Trust.

When contacted on Wednesday, a company spokesman said the firm would conduct an investigation with the help of the authorities and Lian Soon Construction.

This is the second construction-related incident reported this week alone.

On Monday, two workers died and four others were injured when a tower crane at the construction site of the National Art Gallery crumpled as it lifted an excavator.

Two more accidents occurred last week.

On Sept 22, an Indian national died at the site of the upcoming Caldecott MRT interchange after being struck by a tree in the excavator he was operating. Four days later, a worker fell to his death at the Silversea condominium project in Marine Parade when scaffolding beneath him collapsed.

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