WSH Alert Accident Advisory, 18 May 2020: Worker struck by rudder and fell

WSH Alert Accident Advisory, 18 May 2020: Worker struck by rudder and fell

May 18, 2020

18 May 2020, Ref: 2021119

Accident Advisory: Worker struck by rudder and fell  

Ref: 1920110 WSH Alert Accident Notification dated 16 March 2020

On 11 March 2020, a group of workers was installing a rudder at the rear of a marine vessel when the rudder swung and hit one of them. The worker fell to the ground and was pronounced dead at the scene by attending paramedics.

                                 Figure 1: Overview of the accident scene.


Persons in control of workplaces and work activities such as occupiers, principals and employers are advised to consider the following risk control measures to prevent similar accidents/incidents:
Regular equipment inspection and maintenance
All lifting equipment (including lifting machines, lifting appliances, hoists and
   lifting gears) used must be subjected to statutory regular inspections by an
   Authorised Examiner at least once every 12 months.
• Place all lifting equipment on a preventive maintenance programme (in accordance
   with manufacturer’s recommendations) to ensure that they remain in good
   condition and ready for use.
• Any defects found during inspection or pre-use checks must be reported to the 
   supervisor and properly documented, and the equipment should not be
   used until the defects are repaired/rectified in accordance to the manufacturers
Lifting plan and method of installation
Establish and implement a lifting and rigging plan before commencing the
   lifting operation. The lifting plan should take into consideration the following key
   elements (non-exhaustive):    

     – Details of load
     – Details of the lifting/rigging equipment or lifting gears used
     – Sketch of the lifting zone
     – Physical and environment conditions
     – Lifting sequence or special precautions
     – Personnel involved in the lifting/rigging operations
     – Means of communications

• Ensure that a safe method for rudder installation has been determined prior to 
   work commencement taking into account the on-site risks.
• Document the installation method in the Safe Work Procedure (SWP) and deploy
   only competent workers who have been trained on the SWP.

Competent lifting crew
Ensure that lifting team members (lifting equipment operator, lifting supervisor,
   rigger, signalman) are competent and have successfully completed the relevant
   safety and health training (e.g. WSQ Supervise Safe Lifting Operations course for
   lifting supervisors) in relation to their assigned roles and responsibilities.
Safe lifting operation
Ensure that the selected lifting equipment has sufficient lifting capacity and
   reach to handle the intended load.
• Ensure all lifting gears (e.g. slings, webbings, shackles, wire ropes and chains)
   are within the Safe Working Load of the lift, in good condition and meet
   the requirements stated in Regulation 20 of the WSH (General Provisions)
• Demarcate the lifting zone and ensure that no unauthorised persons enter the
   zone while the lifting operation is in progress.
• Always maintain the load’s centre of gravity directly beneath the load line
  (i.e. directly beneath the hook). Otherwise, the load may swing when it is lifted.  
• Ensure that the load is secured, stable and balanced throughout the lifting
• Confirm that all members of the lifting team are in a safe position before starting
   the lifting operation.
• Use tag lines to control the load while it is being manoeuvred.
Permit-to-work (PTW) for hazardous work at height situation
A PTW is mandatory for work at height situations where a person could fall from
   a height of more than 3 metres. Such a PTW must meet the requirements set
   out under the WSH (Work at Heights) Regulations 2013. The PTW ought
   to include the following information and checks (non-exhaustive) by the
   relevant competent persons to verify that conditions are safe before allowing the
   work to proceed:

     – Particulars of the personnel assigned to the work
     – Description and location of the equipment or installation
     – Description of the work to be carried out
     – Measures taken to ensure that the equipment or installation has been 
        made safe
     – Fall prevention measures in place such as edge protection and the use of
        of a personal fall arrest system


Hazard awareness and risk communication
Prior to work commencement, workers must be briefed (e.g. during toolbox
   meetings) on the possible on-site hazards and the safety precautions to be
   taken when carrying out installation works and when working within a lifting zone.
• Work coordination with and between the contractors who are present at the
   same site is critical to ensure safe execution of the lifting operation.
• Workers should be encouraged to report any unsafe work conditions observed
   or near-miss incidents witnessed to their supervisor so that these may be

   addressed before an accident occurs.


Risk Assessment

Conduct a thorough Risk Assessment (RA) for all work activities to control any foreseeable risk that may arise during rudder installation works. The RA should cover, but not limited to, the following areas:

• Selection of suitable lifting equipment for the load to be lifted
• Condition of the lifting equipment
• Method of installation

• Risks that can arise during installation
• Risk of falling from heights

Further Information

1. Workplace Safety and Health Act
2. Workplace Safety and Health (Risk Management) Regulations
3. Workplace Safety and Health (General Provisions) Regulations
4. Workplace Safety and Health (Operation of Cranes) Regulations 2011
5. Workplace Safety and Health (Work at Heights) Regulations 2013
6. Code of Practice on Workplace Safety and Health Risk Management
7. Code of Practice on Safe Lifting Operations in the Workplaces
8. Code of Practice for Working Safely at Heights
9. Singapore Standard SS 343: 2014 Specification for Lifting Gear – Part 1: Wire
    rope slings, Part 2: Hooks, Part 3: Shackles 
10. WSH Guidelines on Anchorage, Lifelines and Temporary Edge Protection Systems
11. WSH Guidelines on Personal Protective Equipment for Work at Heights
12. WSH Guidelines on Contractor Management
13. WSH Guidelines on Fatigue Management
14. WSH Council’s Case Studies on Accidents Involving Work at Heights
15. WSH Council’s Work at Heights Toolkit for Supervisors
16. WSH Council’s Guidebook for Lifting Supervisors
17. WSH Council’s Worker’s Safety Handbook for Lorry Crane Operator
18. WSH Council’s Worker’s Safety Handbook for Rigger and Signalman
19. WSH Council’s 6 Basic WSH Rules for Lifting Operations
20. WSH Council’s 6 Basic WSH Rules for Work at Heights
21. WSH Council’s Activity Based Checklist for Working Safely on Heights
22. Ministry of Manpower Examination and Testing Requirements for Statutory
      Lifting Equipment

Information on the accident is based on preliminary investigations by the Ministry of Manpower as at
12 May 2020. This may be subject to change as investigations are still on-going. Please also note that the recommendations provided here are not exhaustive and they are meant to enhance workplace safety and health so that a recurrence may be prevented. The information and recommendations provided are not to be construed as implying liability on any party nor should it be taken to encapsulate all the responsibilities and obligations under the law.


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