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49-year-old cleaner falls 9.5m through skylight

CNA – A 49-year-old man died in a workplace accident last week in Singapore after he fell through a skylight and landed 9.5m below on the factory floor.

The incident took place on the morning of May 19 at 36 Joo Koon Circle when the employee was preparing for roof cleaning works.

The man was taken to Ng Teng Fong General Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries on the same day, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said yesterday.

The ministry said the freelance labourer was contracted by Vina Specialist, who is also the occupier of the building.

According to its website, the company provides industrial maintenance services and commercial window cleaning.

“As a general safety measure, every means by which a worker may fall from height should be identified and guarded or covered. In addition, workers should be equipped with safety equipment to prevent falls,” said MOM.

Workers at a construction site in Singapore. PHOTO: AFP

The incident is being investigated and the company has been instructed to stop all work activities at heights.

“To date, the total number of workplace fatalities in 2022 is 24,” added MOM.

In a separate incident, a workplace accident at 190 Orchard Boulevard left a worker injured after he was struck by a component. On May 26, the 31-year-old worker employed by Xiang Tai Construction had been dismantling the formwork structure of a lift shaft on the 29th floor.

A component of the formwork then slipped and dropped, hitting him on the 14th floor.

The Bangladesh national was taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital, where he is being treated for a back injury, said MOM.

“As a general safety measure, incompatible works carried out by different groups of workers within the same work area need to be properly scheduled.

“There should also be safe work procedures in place to prevent dismantled objects from falling,” added the ministry.

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on May 9 said that there have been “far too many” workplace fatalities this year, and safety standards and practices “seem to have slipped”.

“We have been working hard for years to prevent workplace accidents, especially deaths. We have made good progress. But with our economy re-opening and activities ramping up, safety standards and practices seem to have slipped,” he said in a Facebook post. Noting that accident rates have gone up, Lee said that Singapore “must put this right”.