1 worker suffocates to death in 10m wet concrete, 10 others injured in 2014 Sentosa accident

Elena Chong
The Straits Times
Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017

A building subcontractor failed to ensure its formwork structures for poured concrete were safe, resulting in the death of a worker and injuries to 10 others when part of the formwork collapsed.

Genocean Construction was yesterday fined $230,000, after it pleaded guilty to contravening the Workplace Safety and Health Act at the worksite in Beach View on Sentosa.

The 11 construction workers were casting concrete on top of the formwork, when part of it collapsed on Jan 29, 2014. They fell about 10m into wet concrete. Mr Zhou Tonglin, 35, suffocated, while the rest suffered injuries from minor cuts and abrasions to fractures.

Genocean had been engaged to carry out structural works for a three-storey family entertainment centre. Investigations showed that the shoring for the formwork in question had not been made in line with specifications and a professional engineer's design.

A detailed analysis also uncovered pre-existing cracks in some parts of the structure, among other things. It grew increasingly unstable as concrete was poured in.

Ministry of Manpower prosecutor Ameerhan Shikandar said the company did not ensure that a risk assessment was conducted or safe work procedures developed for the shifting of the shoring system.

No inspection was conducted by the formwork supervisor to ensure that the structure was safe before allowing casting to start.

Mr Ameerhan had sought a fine of at least $250,000, citing serious actual harm as an aggravating factor.

The company, represented by Mr Desmond Tan, was allowed to pay $100,000 by April 25 and the balance in two equal instalments of $65,000 each.

The Straits Times

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