WSH Alert Accident Advisory, 7 August 2020: Worker fell off parapet wall
7 August 2020, Ref: 2021039
Accident Advisory: Worker fell off parapet wall
|Ref: 2021029 WSH Alert Accident Notification dated 8 June 2020|
|On 2 June 2020, two workers were carrying out repair works on a sawdust extractor that was positioned next to a parapet wall. To reach the side of the extractor, one of the workers stood on the parapet wall, lost his footing and fell 12 metres to the ground. The worker was conveyed to the hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.|
| Figure 1: Re-enactment of
Stakeholders such as occupiers, employers and principals in control of similar workplaces and work activities are advised to consider the following risk control measures to prevent similar accidents:
|Safe work environment
• The Workplace Safety and Health Act requires both the occupier and employer
to ensure, provide and maintain a safe working environment for all persons at
• Locate all machines such that workers are provided with sufficient space for
access to the machine and are able to safely perform all operational and
maintenance works. In this case, the sawdust extractor could be located
further away from the parapet wall so that workers can easily access the back
of the machine without having to adopt an awkward posture or unsafe position.
• Where practicable, consider installing parapet wall railings or fencing to deter
and prevent workers from climbing and/or going over the parapet wall.
|Safe work position
• Supervisors should conduct a site assessment and check that the work position
adopted by each worker is safe before allowing the work to commence. In this
case, there was a parapet wall and a fall from height risk next to the machine
that the worker may not have been aware of.
|Safe Work Procedure (SWP)
• A SWP is a working risk control document that describes the safest and most
efficient way to perform a certain work activity.
• Establish a SWP for all operational and maintenance work involving the use
of a machine. The SWP should contain the following elements (non-exhaustive):
– hazards of the work environment, machines, tools and material used;
|• Provide on-site supervision to ensure adherence to the SWP.|
• Allow only competent and authorised workers to operate and maintain the
machine. Worker training should cover the hazards posed both by the machine
and the work environment as well as the control measures in place to minimise
the risk of an accident.
• To ensure safe use and maintenance of machines, all operators must know the
SWP and adhere to it at all times.
Conduct a thorough Risk Assessment (RA) for all work activities to manage any foreseeable risk that may arise when working with machinery. The RA should cover but not limited to the following areas:
|• Location of the machine and the safety of the immediate work environment;
• Specific work position(s) adopted by workers; and
• Adequacy of on-site supervision.
1. Workplace Safety and Health Act
2. Workplace Safety and Health (Risk Management) Regulations
3. Workplace Safety and Health (General Provisions) Regulations
4. Code of Practice on Workplace Safety and Health Risk Management
5. Singapore Standard SS 537: Part 1: 2008 Code of Practice for Safe Use of
Machinery Part 1: General Requirements
6. Singapore Standard SS 567: 2011 Code of Practice for Factory Layout – Safety,
Health and Welfare Considerations
7. WSH Guidelines on Safe Use of Machinery
8. WSH Council’s Activity Based Checklist on Working Safely with Machines
9. WSH Council’s 6 Basic Workplace Safety and Health Rules for Working with Machines
10. WSH Council’s Article “Protect Against Machine Accidents”
11. Directive 2006/42/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of
17 May 2006 on Machinery
12. UK HSE’s “Providing and Using Work Equipment Safely – A Brief Guide”
* Information on the accident is based on preliminary investigations by the Ministry of Manpower as at