Worker falls to death in latest construction fatality

SINGAPORE - A Bangladeshi construction worker fell four storeys to his death on Tuesday after a structure that he was standing on collapsed at a worksite along Eunos Road.

It was the latest of at least five construction site accidents this month.

Another Bangladeshi worker suffered leg injuries in the accident and was sent to Tan Tock Seng Hospital for treatment.

Police received a call at 1.34am requesting assistance along Eunos Road. Mr Rahul Chandra Bhowmik, 25, was pronounced dead by paramedics at the scene.

A Ministry of Manpower (MOM) spokesman said that the accident occurred at the worksite of construction firm Low Keng Huat.

Initial findings by MOM showed that four workers were involved in the accident.

"The group was working on the structure supporting the concreting work, located at the fourth storey of the building, when the structure collapsed," added the spokesman.

Two of the workers managed to escape unharmed.

MOM has instructed the company to stop all work at the worksite. Investigations are still ongoing.

When asked about the construction work being done at night at the site, the spokesman said: "Generally, the Workplace Safety and Health Act does not impose restrictions on construction activity at night, so long as occupiers and employers conduct proper risk assessments and take reasonably practicable measures to ensure the safety and health (of their workers)."

"Notwithstanding this, occupiers and employers should ensure that they are compliant with other laws and regulations that may apply when carrying out such activities at night," he added.

Low Keng Huat is developing a 13-storey commercial project at the worksite.

Its project manager declined to comment when contacted on Tuesday.

When The Straits Times visited the site on Tuesday afternoon, some workers showed up only to be informed that work had stopped.

One of them, who wanted to be known only as Mr Shi, said he was carrying out concreting work at the time of the accident when he heard "a loud boom sound".

Of the accidents that happened this month, there were fatalities in three of them, including Tuesday's accident.

Last Wednesday, two workers fell to their deaths at a construction site along Fusionopolis Way.

The next day, another worker died after falling 19 storeys at another construction site in Sengkang.

Member of Parliament Yeo Guat Kwang, who is also the director for Workplace Safety and Health at the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), said that while it was still too early to speculate on the cause of the latest accident, he hopes that employers will step up their efforts in ensuring site and worker safety.

"In many of such accidents, we have seen that they're preventable," said Mr Yeo.

Earlier this month, MOM issued a statement saying that it would step up inspections of worksites islandwide over a two-week period in the light of the recent spate of worksite accidents.

kcarolyn@sph.com.sg


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