59YO Man Slips & Dies from an Unsecured Ladder in Yishun Industrial Park

On 24 December 2021, a 59-year-old man died after his ladder slipped in Yishun Industrial Park.

Here’s what happened.

Unsecured Ladder Slipped, Caused Him To Fall and Hit His Head

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) revealed on Wednesday (19 January) that the worker died in a workplace accident.

He was descending from a ladder that was leaning against the edge of a mezzanine level. The A-frame ladder was not secured and thus slipped, causing him to fall and hit his head against the floor. He fell about 1.7m.

The worker was taken to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, where he died three days later. The man’s employer and owner of the workplace is Sin Kwang Wah, a bag and luggage wholesaler.

With this accident, the total number of workplace deaths in 2021 rises to 37. There have been no workplace fatalities in 2022 so far.

MOM is currently investigating the accident and has instructed Sin Kwang Wah to restrict all access to the mezzanine.

WSHC Recommends Following Proper Safety Procedures

In an alert, the Workplace Safety and Health Council (WSHC) said that nobody should use an A-frame ladder as a leaning ladder. Instead, the A-frame ladder should be fully opened with spreaders locked. It should also be placed on flat and stable ground instead of being leaned against a wall.

WSHC also recommended the use of platform ladders for use at higher levels.

Image: Workplace Safety and Health Council

If using leaning ladders, they should be tied and extended at least 1m above the landing point for a secure handhold. Guard railings should be installed on the accessed level to prevent falls, and its base should always be secured.

Image: Workplace Safety and Health Council

Additionally, workers should be equipped with safety helmets to protect themselves from head injuries.

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Not The First Incident of This Nature

There have been many instances of people falling, sometimes to their deaths, off ladders in workplaces.

One SCDF Rescue Crew member fell off a ladder while on a vessel. A worker passed away after falling seven floors from a ladder at a condominium.

With a rise in the number of workplace injuries and fatalities, do observe proper safety procedures at all times.

Employers should implement the necessary risk control measures, even for something as simple as tying ladders to a secure post.

They should also be supervising their workers to ensure safe work conditions are strictly followed and educate employees about such risks.

Hopefully, with more foresight and education, the number of such incidents will decrease in 2022.

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Featured Image: Workplace Safety and Health Council