Accident & Prevention Advisory
In 2017, the most common cause of major injuries at workplaces in Singapore were falls, making up 41 percent of major injuries in the first half of 2017.
Recently, a worker was fatally injured on 11 November 2017, due to a fall of approximately eight meters from a roof to a staircase landing. The worker was standing on a cantilever metal frame of a roof to install roofing sheets when the frame broke off from the wall it was bolted to, causing the worker to fall onto the staircase landing below. He was found without wearing any safety harness, in addition to a lack of a fall arrest system at his last location of work.
Also, on 18 Dec 2017, a foreign worker fell from the tenth floor to the fourth floor of the building at a construction site in Tampines. He was pronounced dead by paramedics at the scene. As exemplified by these examples, many workplaces accidents could have been avoided with proper protection, safety guidelines and risk control measures implemented beforehand. Safety is everyone’s responsibility; adhering to safety procedures will not only protect everyone, but most importantly yourself.
For employers and people in control of workplaces, here are some risk control measures to prevent similar accidents from happening. First, for design and installation of roofs, the structure that the roof is to be installed on need to be capable of bearing all additional load occurring during the installation of the roof. A professional engineer should be engaged to assess the suitability of structure, as structures such as parapet walls are non-load bearing, and thus unsuitable for roof installation. In addition, as a roof can easily give way when a load is applied, nobody should be permitted to be on top of a roof or roofing materials. Second, when working at heights, workers should be provided with safe methods of access to work location at heights (i.e. usage of a mobile elevated working platform) to prevent them from standing directly on roofs, as well as equipping workers with a personal fall arrest system or travel restraint belt. Third, workers should be briefed clearly on instructions and undergo adequate training to ensure they can execute the work safely. Finally, a fall prevention plan (FPP) including identification of potential hazards, risk assessments, risk control measures, emergency response plan, Relevant Permit-to-Work (PTW) and Safe Work Procedure (SWP) should be established.
Companies committed to workplace safety should embark on getting bizSAFE certified. bizSAFE is a 5-step programme to aid companies with building up workplace safety and health capabilities, so as to achieve quantum improvements in safety and health standards at the workplace. Advantages to joining the bizSAFE community include business privileges offer by bizSAFE partners, in addition to the entitlement of displaying the bizSAFE logo on your company’s business collaterals (e.g. letterheads and name cards) as a reflection of their dedication to workplace safety.
For companies embarking on the bizSAFE journey, consider J-Star Safety Consultancy, a Consulting, Training & Outsourcing company based in Singapore that conducts quality and safety training. Dedicated to providing Workplace Safety & Health, Environmental and Quality services to various industries, J-Star Safety compromise of a team of proficient quality and safety consultants experienced in conducting quality and safety training as well as preparing organisations for certifications to the various management system standards.
For more information on bizSAFE, visit here.