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Two fatal workplace accidents at LTA worksites raise concerns about safety

Two construction workers died in separate incidents at LTA worksites on 15 and 16 September. The tragedies occurred on the Pan-Island Expressway and the North-South Corridor. The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is investigating, while the Acting Transport Minister highlighted a rise in LTA site accidents in 2023.

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SINGAPORE: Tragedy struck twice in as many days as two construction workers lost their lives in separate accidents at Land Transport Authority (LTA) worksites on Friday and Saturday.

On Sep 15, around 1 am, a 45-year-old Indian national, performing traffic controller duties on the Pan-Island Expressway towards Tuas, was killed when a motorcycle collided with him after the Pioneer Road North exit.

LTA contractor Ley Choon-Gim Tian Joint Venture had closed the first and second lanes for road resurfacing.

The motorcyclist, travelling on the third lane, veered into the work zone in lane two, causing the fatal collision.

A Singapore Civil Defence Force paramedic confirmed the deaths of both the worker and the motorcyclist at the scene. Another worker suffered minor injuries during the incident.

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) urged road work contractors to adhere strictly to the guidelines laid out in the Land Transport Authority’s Code of Practice for Traffic Control at Work Zone and revealed it was launching an investigation into the mishap.

On Sep 16, a North-South Corridor worksite along Cavenagh Road witnessed another fatality.

At approximately 10.45 am, a 41-year-old Bangladeshi worker was critically injured when a pallet of gas cylinders, being lifted, toppled onto him.

The injured worker later succumbed to his injuries at the hospital. Following this, MOM halted all lifting operations at the site and all work activities under the Leighton-Yongnam Joint Venture at the North-South Corridor worksites.

MOM advised that “as a general safety measure, care must be taken to prevent any part of a lifted load from becoming entangled with any other structure.”

In the aftermath of these accidents, LTA is actively assisting the families of the deceased and is collaborating with both the police and MOM in ongoing investigations.

The Acting Transport Minister, Chee Hong Tat, during the LTA Safety, Health, and Environmental Award Convention on Tuesday, expressed his grief over the increase in workplace accidents at LTA sites.

There were 33 recorded accidents in the first eight months of 2023, in contrast to 27 in the same period in 2022.

He stressed the importance of vigilance, stating, “We may have exited the heightened safety period, but we must continue to stay vigilant and strengthen our safety practices.”

In related news, Mr. Melvin Yong Yik Chye, MP for Radin Mas SMC, filed an Adjournment motion in Parliament titled “Keeping Workplaces Safe Beyond the Heightened Safety Period” on Tuesday (19 Sep).

Senior Minister of State for Manpower, Zaqy Mohamad, affirmed the government’s unwavering commitment to worker safety.

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