Following a serious road accident on 3 July 2012 in which one Indian worker was killed, former TWC2 president John Gee wrote a letter to The New Paper. It is reproduced below as published on 9 July 2012:
Enclosed vehicles safer for workers
The New Paper’s coverage of the accident on Tanah Merah Coast Road, in which Mr Kathiravan, 19, was killed and other workers injured (Worker flung to his death, July 4) shows how, even with the revised standards for vehicles carrying foreign workers in place, they are still at risk on the highways.
Accidents on the roads are bound to take place from time to time, but the chances of coming through safely get better with the safety precautions taken.
Men in the back of a lorry are clearly at greater risk than people travelling in cars or buses with seats and safety belts.
Transient Workers Count Too (TWC2) has argued since 2007 that workers should be transported in coaches or minibuses fitted with seatbelts.
If the workers involved in this accident had been transported in this way, Mr Kathiravan and his fellow workers might well have escaped with little or no injury.
The new standards introduced in 2010 have improved transport conditions of many male foreign workers somewhat, but an accident like this calls out for the next step to be taken – for workers to be transported in safer, enclosed vehicles, such as coaches or minibuses.
This can reduce the loss of life and injuries to workers on the roads.
Are there really more important considerations?