Worker struck by collapsing wall in ACS dies

A worker who was struck by a falling wall in Anglo-Chinese School (Barker Road) last week has died, making November the deadliest month this year in terms of workplace accidents.

This is the fourth reported death of a worker from a work site incident this month. The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said it is investigating the incident and has stopped work near the collapsed wall.

The 38-year-old Bangladeshi national, identified as Mr Ripon, was carrying out housekeeping works beside the brick wall of the school building at about 10.30am last Friday when a part of it collapsed and struck him.

He was taken unconscious to Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH), where he died from his injuries on Sunday.

This is the fourth reported death of a worker from a work site incident this month.

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said it is investigating the incident and has stopped work near the collapsed wall.

According to the Ministry of Education (MOE), the incident happened where a new block is being built as part of an upgrading programme for Anglo-Chinese School (Primary), and the area is not accessible to school staff and students.

In a joint statement, Mr Loo Ming Yaw, principal of ACS Barker, and Dr Irene Ng, principal of ACS Primary, said there were no activities involving students at the time as it is currently the school holidays.

“We are very sorry to hear that the worker had succumbed to his injuries,” they said. “We will work with MOE and the contractors to check the buildings thoroughly to ensure the school is safe for students and staff.”

“We are working with the authorities, the employer and the Bangladesh High Commission to gather more information, and we stand ready to provide the necessary assistance to the deceased’s family,” Mr Yeo Guat Kwang, chairman of the Migrant Workers’ Centre (MWC) said. “MWC is also alarmed and concerned with the recent spate of work site accidents and deaths.”

He urged employers and workers in high-risk sectors such as construction to prioritise safety.

“No amount of financial assistance and consolation can replace the tragic loss of a person’s life, and we hope that all stakeholders can come together to stop this distressing trend,” Mr Yeo said.

This month has seen the highest number of workplace fatalities a month for the year thus far, said MOM.

On Nov 4, a 28-year-old Indian national was killed after a 40m-tall construction crane collapsed in a Novena work site, where a complex that is to be part of TTSH is being built.

A 35-year-old Bangladeshi national was also injured in the incident.

On Nov 14, a 30-year-old Indian national fell to his death at Shaw Plaza, falling through a partition board from the first storey to the basement.

The man, who worked for an electrical company, was reported to have been carrying out housekeeping works when the incident happened.

On Nov 22, a 37-year-old Bangladeshi worker died at a Sengkang construction site after he was caught between metal barricades and the counterweight of a crawler crane when the crane rotated.

The man’s death was the second reported fatal accident at the same site this year, after an Indian national, 36, was struck and killed by a sheet pile at the site in March.

Half-year workplace fatalities hit a seven-year low, according to statistics released by MOM and the Workplace Safety and Health Council in September.

A total of 17 workers died on the job in the first half of this year, out of which six involved incidents at construction sites.

Last year, a total of 41 workers died on the job.

Courtesy of: ST

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