Company directors jailed, fined over safety lapses that led to workplace deaths


On Aug 3, 2020, workers employed by a firm engaged by GTH Engineering & Construction were instructed to manually shift a makeshift storeroom.

While moving doing so, they were obstructed by two pieces of plywood panels.

A worker proceeded to remove one of the plywood panels and in the process, fell from a height of about 6m through the floor opening beneath it.

He was conveyed to Tan Tock Seng Hospital, where he died on the same day.

MOM’s investigations revealed that company director Tan Teck Leong was aware that the floor openings were concealed by removable plywood boards.

However, he had failed to implement an effective fall prevention plan and did not inform workers of the height hazards, MOM added.

At the same time, investigations also showed that site supervisor Ding Dezhu had instructed workers to carry out work at the location despite being aware that there was an opening created at the site.

Ding had neglected to ensure a safe work environment by not conducting any safety checks, said MOM.

Ding was sentenced to eight months’ jail, while Tan was fined S$125,000.

Two other personnel from GTH were also each fined S$10,000- a safety assessor and a project manager.

“Everyone must play their part to ensure that our workplaces are safe, for workers and businesses to thrive,” said MOM.

“Employers must put in place effective measures to ensure worker safety, and … workers must adhere to safe work procedures.”

The Manpower Ministry added that it “takes a serious view of errant employers and workers who put the lives of others at risk, and will not hesitate to prosecute those responsible for the wrongdoing”.

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