WSH Alert Accident Advisory, 5 June 2020: Worker fell from aircraft during maintenance work
5 June 2020, Ref: 2021028
Accident Advisory: Worker fell from aircraft during maintenance work
|Ref: 1920085 WSH Alert Accident Notification dated 7 January 2020|
On 22 December 2019, a worker overseeing maintenance works on an aircraft fell from the door of the aircraft to the ground. The worker was sent to the hospital where he subsequently succumbed to his injuries on 3 January 2020.
| Figure 1: Re-enactment of the accident scene using a|
Persons in control of similar workplaces and work activities such as occupiers, principals and employers are advised to consider the following risk control measures to prevent similar accidents:
|Safe access to and egress from the aircraft |
• Employers are to provide a safe means for workers to get to and move
around the designated work area. Access equipment (e.g. platform
staircase) should be of suitable height and fitted with the necessary
guard railing to prevent falls.
• The selected access equipment should consider the tools and/or
equipment that workers are expected to carry and the possible
environmental conditions that may be encountered. For example, should
there be a need to work at night, the provision of adequate workplace
illumination is important. The design of the accessway should also account
for exposure to the weather as rain will make surfaces slippery and strong
winds can cause one to lose balance.
|Workplace security and access control |
• Occupiers should control access and allow entry only to authorised
persons as there may be risk of falling from height within the work
area which unauthorised persons may not be aware of.
|Permit-to-Work (PTW) for hazardous work at height situation|
• In all workplaces specified as factories, a PTW is a mandatory requirement for
work at height situations where a person could fall from a height of more than
3 metres. The PTW should include the following information and checks
(non-exhaustive) to verify that conditions are safe before allowing the work
– 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
– Fall prevention measures such as the use of suitably guarded work
platform and a personal fall arrest system.
|Hazard communication and Safe Work Procedure (SWP)|
• Brief workers on the possible risks associated with the task prior to
work commencement. Ensure that workers are familiar with the SWP, the
risk controls that are in place, and any additional precautionary measures that
they should take.
• If the access equipment must be shared by different teams, then this must be
carefully planned for and the work must be coordinated to ensure that the
access equipment is not shifted without the consent of the team that is using
• Provide on-site supervision to ensure that the SWP is strictly adhered to.
• Consider deploying closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras for continuous
monitoring of remote areas.
|Personal Protective Equipment|
• Provide each worker with anti-slip safety footwear.
• Provide each worker with a refective vest so that the worker‘s presence at the
designated work area is clearly visible.
• Conduct a pre-work health check at the start of each work shift to verify each
worker’s fitness to work.
• Workers who are not feeling well should not be placed on the job or shift.
Conduct a holistic Risk Assessment (RA) to identify possible hazards associated with the work activity. The RA should cover all foreseeable risks but not limited to the following areas:
|• Slip and fall hazards e.g. from access equipment;|
• Work environment e.g. working at night; and
• Work organisation e.g. long working hours.
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 (Work at Heights) Regulations 2013
5. Code of Practice on Workplace Safety and Health Risk Management
6. Code of Practice for Working Safely at Heights
7. SS 531: Code of Practice for Lighting of Work Places Part 2: Outdoor
8. WSH Guidelines on Anchorage, Lifelines and Temporary Edge Protection Systems
9. WSH Guidelines on Personal Protective Equipment for Work at Heights
10. WSH Guidelines on Fatigue Management
11. WSH Council’s Work at Heights Toolkit for Supervisors
12. WSH Council’s Case Studies on Accidents Involving Work at Heights
13. Basic Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Rules for Work at Heights
14. WSH Council’s Activity Based Checklist for Working Safely on Heights
Information on the accident is based on preliminary investigations by the Ministry of Manpower as at
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