Asia Singapore Two workers die at Keppel shipyard after structure collapses and throws them...

Two workers die at Keppel shipyard after structure collapses and throws them off scaffolding atop docked vessel

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Two Bangladeshi workers died on Monday night (March 28) after they were thrown off a vessel that was docked at a shipyard in Tuas owned by Singapore conglomerate Keppel Corporation.

In response to media queries, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said on Tuesday that the workers, aged 30 and 42, fell onto the dock below and were pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics. They were among three workers who were at work on a scaffold that was built around a structure atop the docked vessel at 51 Pioneer Sector 1. The third worker, also a Bangladeshi, managed to cling onto the structure, MOM said.

Company director jailed for operating excavator without training, leading to worker’s death MOM said on Tuesday that Keppel Shipyard, a wholly owned subsidiary of Keppel Offshore and Marine, is the occupier of the worksite and the employer of the 42-year-old worker who died.

MOM is investigating the incident and has instructed Keppel Shipyard to stop all works involving structures on board the vessel. “As a general safety measure, companies should ensure that all temporary work platforms, such as scaffolds, are securely anchored,” the ministry said. A Keppel Shipyard spokesman said the company deeply regrets the tragic incident.

The top causes of workplace fatalities last year were vehicular-related accidents, in which 11 workers died; falls from height, which eight workers died from; and fires and explosions, which killed five workers.

Last year, State Coroner Marvin Bay categorized another fatality at the Shipyard as an “industrial misadventure” and said it was an example of the need to manage risk. He called for employers like Keppel to carry out “appropriate risk assessments and (verify) the safety and fitness for use of all equipment,” and to avoid circumstances where employees would be “vulnerable to injury in the event of any machinery or component failure.”

The coroner’s inquiry was held after a Keppel Shipyard worker died from multiple injuries after being struck by a falling rudder of an oil tanker in March 2020. In that accident, a 59-tonne rudder had dislodged after the shackle, which connects the rudder to the ship and had a capacity of 35 tonnes, fractured from the 24-tonne overload.

Mandeep Kumar, a 36 year old Indian worker, was doing repair works on a tanker at Keppel Shipyard when the rudder dislodged and hit him, knocking him off balance. He clung onto part of the ship 7.3m above the ground, but fell off when the falling rudder crashed into him and severed his right arm. The impact sent the Indian national into cardiac arrest and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

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