Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Five Parties Convicted for Failing to Ensure Workplace Safety - WSH Bulletin

27 Apr 2010

Five Parties Convicted for Failing to Ensure Workplace Safety
Two companies from the marine industry and three of their employees were convicted on 1 April 2010 for failing to ensure workplace safety. The convicted parties were fined a total of $485,000.
One of the companies was responsible for the death of three workers and injuries sustained by 10 others in two separate incidents in 2008. In the first incident, the company was engaged to install hydraulic pipes on a vessel. A fire broke out on the vessel and injured four workers. It was found that the project manager had allowed compressed oxygen to be used to test the pipes. The pipes' rusty and rough interior generated heat when the pressurised oxygen passed through them. The heat, combined with the oxygen, rust and lubricating oil found in the vicinity, led to the explosion.
In the second incident, two months later, a flash fire broke out on a vessel during spray painting works at the company's premises. The accident left 3 workers dead and six others injured. Investigations found that the company did not effectively ventilate the tanks to ensure that flammable vapours generated from the spray painting works did not build up. The ship repair manager had also approved the permit-to-work without ensuring the implementation of all safety measures, e.g. preventing workers from bringing in unsafe torchlights, which could have been the ignition source.
The second company convicted was responsible for an accident on board a ship that claimed two lives, and injured another. The workers were assigned to clean a tank and they entered it even though it contained a high concentration of toxic Hydrogen Sulphide gas. Investigations revealed that the company had failed to provide them with safety equipment such as breathing devices and personal gas monitors. One of the supervisors had also told the workers to enter the tank even though it was dangerous to do so.
Chairman of the Workplace Safety and Health Council, Mr Lee Tzu Yang said the deaths and injuries in the cases are a "sombre reminder" of the workers affected by poor safety standards and a disregard for safety rules. "Each of the five workers who died had unfulfilled dreams and families who will miss them everyday. Industry players must constantly remind ourselves that we have a responsibility to ensure the safety of our workers. At no time should anyone disregard any safety measures so as to take an easier route to complete a job. In each of these cases, someone had ignored important safety measures," he said. On behalf of the WSH Council, he urged all stakeholders to think about the impact of one's actions and to always keep safety foremost on their minds.
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  1. hi nice to saw ur article on ur blog. i am kalyan rama raju. i am from india , now in singapore looking for job as safety officer. i did iosh managing safety diploma. and i apply to registar as mom approved safety officer too. bt i am in big dilama mo m will accpet me or not bt i am in search of job in that relvant feild, hope u can help me as ur in this feild
    with regards

  2. Based on your experiences, I'm regret to inform you that to practice as a Worplace Safety & Health Officer (WSHO), you are required to be approved by the Commisioner of Minstry of Manpower. They will assess your experience & education level before they certify you as a Registered WSHO. Hence, I would recommend that you be patient & until you receive notification from MOM that you are certified competent as a WSHO, then you shall proceed to search for a job.