Worker falls 10m at luxury condo worksite near Orchard Road, trapped among steel rebars

Kok Yufeng
The Straits Times
Dec 20, 2022

A Bangladeshi worker was hospitalised after falling 10m while carrying out scaffolding works at the construction site of a luxury condominium near Orchard Road.

The 31-year-old worker was found trapped among a pile of steel rebars after he fell, and firefighters from the Central Fire Station and the Singapore Civil Defence Force’s (SCDF) elite Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team had to cut him free using hydraulic rescue equipment.

An image circulating on messaging platform WhatsApp shows the injured worker in a crumpled position with his head on the ground after the fall.

An ambulance, three Singapore Civil Defence Force vehicles and a police car are also seen in pictures of the accident site.

In response to queries, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said the workplace accident took place on Monday at about 3pm at 18 Tomlinson Road, the address of the upcoming Park Nova condominium.

MOM said the worker fell and landed on the ground floor 10m below, injuring his right arm and both thighs. The Seng Yew Scaffolding and Engineering employee also had cuts on his scalp as a result of the fall.

He was conscious when taken to Singapore General Hospital (SGH) and is in stable condition, the ministry added.

SCDF said it was alerted at about 3.05pm. Firefighters conducted an intricate rescue operation, cutting the rebars surrounding the trapped worker to gain access to him.

Two of the rebars that were connected to a solid structure at the worksite were later cut to free the man.

An SCDF spokesman said emergency medical crew gave oxygen to the worker throughout the rescue operation and stabilised him to minimise movement. This was critical to prevent aggravating the worker’s injuries further.

An emergency medical team from SGH was also on-site to provide medical assistance, SCDF added.

MOM said the occupier of the worksite is China Construction Realty. The ministry has instructed the company to stop all scaffolding activities involving work at heights.

China Construction Realty won the contract to build Park Nova condominium in December 2020, and the project is expected to be completed in March 2024.

Developed by Shun Tak Cuscaden Residential, a subsidiary of Hong Kong-based Shun Tak Holdings, the freehold project is the conglomerate’s maiden residential development here.

Marketed as a luxury condo, it comprises a single 21-storey tower with 54 units.

The Straits Times has asked Shun Tak Holdings and China Construction Realty for comment.

This latest accident comes amid a spike in workplace deaths in 2022. There have been 44 fatal workplace accidents so far, the highest number since 2016, when there were 66 such deaths.

In September, waterproofing contractor Le Fong was penalised after MOM found unsafe work practices that led to a worker becoming seriously injured after he fell through a roof about three storeys high.

The sanction came during a six-month heightened safety period from Sept 1, 2022, to Feb 28, 2023, that was instituted by MOM to curb the rise in worker deaths and injuries.

According to the latest workplace safety statistics, falls from height accounted for seven of the 37 workplace deaths recorded in the first nine months of 2022.

Of the 436 workplace accidents that resulted in major injuries during this period, 62 were due to workers falling from height.

The Straits Times

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