Channel NewsAsia
Updated: 01/29/2014 18:14 | By Channel NewsAsia

One worker dead, 10 others injured in Sentosa worksite accident

One worker dead, 10 others injured in Sentosa worksite accident

One worker dead, 10 others injured in Sentosa worksite accident

SINGAPORE: A worksite accident on Sentosa island has left one foreign worker dead and 10 others injured. 

The incident happened at the uncompleted Family Entertainment Centre located near Palawan Beach on Wednesday.

At about 3.15pm, the scaffolding supporting a section of a beam that is under construction collapsed, injuring 11 workers.

The injured were sent to the Singapore General Hospital (SGH).

One of them died in hospital. SGH said nine others were in stable condition. Another received outpatient treatment and has since been discharged.

The Family Entertainment Centre is a project by Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC). It started construction in March last year, and is scheduled for completion at the end of this year.

SDC said this is the first major accident since construction began. The main contractor for the project is Debenho Pte Ltd.

Kwoh Kok Kiong, Sentosa Leisure Group's projects director, said: "Safety is always very important to us, and we take safety very seriously.

"That's why in the selection of contractors, we go through great detail to check their track record, and also the safety record.

"Also, we make sure they will comply with certain safety standards with BCA (Building and Construction Authority) before we short-list and select the contractor and this particular contractor, in the tender process, (its) track record was very good."

The death of the worker at Sentosa brings the number of fatalities at worksite accidents to nine this year.

Acting Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin has said on his blog that the recent spate of accidents is not tenable.

He said these accidents could have been avoided, and that they had occurred despite measures taken to step up workplace inspections.

He has asked the Occupational Safety and Health Division to carry out thorough investigations to identify the circumstances that led to the accidents and recommend ways to prevent their recurrence.

Mr Tan added that he is appalled at the latest accident, and said it will be investigated thoroughly.

He warned that irresponsible contractors who cut corners will face harsh penalties under the law, including imprisonment.

The Workplace Safety and Health Council has also expressed its concerns.

Eugene Yong, a member of the Workplace Safety and Health Council, said: "We can only ask employers to take immediate actions to review safe work practices.

"I think good practices are in place, it's a question of employers... maybe take some more time to review what they are doing... do proper risk work assessment."

The council has launched its latest campaign -- "Work safely. Your family awaits your return" -- during the festive season, as a timely reminder of the importance of workplace safety and health. - CNA/ir

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