Thirteen workers died after falls from height during the first six months of the year, up from nine during the same period last year, reported the Straits Times on November 4, 2011. Falling from roofs led to three lives lost between January and June this year, compared with two for the whole of last year. In this year’s cases, the employer was found to be negligent or irresponsible.

Falls from ladders led to two fatalities during the first six months of this year, compared with three for the whole of last year. Again, employers had failed to enforce safety procedures, said the Straits Times.

The story did not specifically say these were foreign workers, but since the great majority of workers in construction and such work are migrant workers, one can assume that at least some, if not all, the cases involved them.

The newspaper said that more than half of the sites involved were fined – probably meaning more than half the sites the Ministry of Manpower inspected. How the sites were chosen, whether randomly or not, was not clear from the article. 37 sites were made to stop work. In August, the ministry summoned about 150 small roofing contractors to an awareness session after they had been caught failing to comply with safety rules.

Enforcement measures such as surprise inspections would be stepped up, the newspaper reported.


Source:  Straits Times, November 4, 2011: More workers falling to their deaths, by Fiona Low