WSH Alert Accident Advisory, 9 March 2020: Worker struck by falling formwork structure component

WSH Alert Accident Advisory, 9 March 2020: Worker struck by falling formwork structure component

Mar 09, 2020

9 March 2020, Ref: 1920106

Accident Advisory: Worker struck by falling formwork structure component

Ref: 1920088 WSH Alert Accident Notification dated 15 January 2020

On 11 January 2020, four workers were tasked to shift a formwork structure. While they were moving the formwork structure, one of the formwork runners fell from the top of the formwork structure and struck one of the workers. The worker was conveyed to the hospital where he subsequently passed away.

                      Figure 1: Re-enactment of the accident scene.


Stakeholders such as occupiers, employers, principals and contractors in control of similar workplaces and work activities are advised to consider the following risk control measures to prevent similar accidents:
Safe work method
In accordance to Section 9.6 of SS 580: 2012 – Code of Practice for Formwork,
   all system formwork suppliers shall provide documented instructions and training
   on erection, use, transfer, alteration and dismantling of the formwork system.
• Prior to formwork structure erection, ensure that the structures used are
   adequately designed for its intended purpose.
• Check that formwork structure components used are in good condition and
   replacement parts (if any) are approved for use by the manufacturer. 
• Ensure that the erection, use, transfer, alteration and dismantling of all
   formwork structures are carried out in accordance to the manufacturer’s
   method statement.
Address risk of falling object(s)
Properly secure all loose formwork structure components to prevent
   accidental dislodgement during erection, use, transfer, alteration and dismantling
   of the formwork system.
• Should ground or overhead conditions not permit the safe shifting (transfer) of
   the formwork structure, it may be safer to dismantle the formwork structure for
   shifting and re-erection at its new desired location.
Worker training and supervision
Employers must ensure that all personnel (including formwork supervisors and
   workers) involved in formwork activities have received adequate safety and
   health training with regards to the hazards associated with formwork structures.
• For formwork structures supplied by a manufacturer, ensure that all relevant
   personnel have attended the familiarisation training and/or briefing provided
   by the manufacturer.
• Ensure that adequate on-site supervision is provided for all formwork-related
   activities. This is to ensure that the safe work method is adhered to and that the
   work is carried out safely.
• Supervisors can help to ensure that all formwork structures and related work
   activities comply with the requirements stated in Part IX of the Workplace Safety
   and Health (Construction) Regulations and SS580: 2012 – Code of Practice
   for Formwork.

Risk Assessment

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

• Presence of loose formwork structure components that may fall on workers
• Uneven or sloping ground that may prevent the safe shifting of formwork structure
• Overhead structures (e.g. beams) that the formwork structure may collide with
   during shifting
• Stability of the formwork structure during shifting
• Adequacy of supervision during formwork activities

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 (Construction) Regulations 2007
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 for Working Safely at Height 
8. Ministry of Manpower Circular on Safety Requirements for Formwork Structures
9. Ministry of Manpower Advisory for Professional Engineers on Formwork Safety
10. CP 79: 1999 Code of Practice for Safety Management Systems for
      Construction Worksites
11. Singapore Standard SS 580: 2012 – Code of Practice for Formwork 
12. WSH Guidelines on Contractor Management
13. WSH Guidelines on Behavioural Observation and Intervention
14. WSH Council’s Formwork Checklist
15. UK HSE Information Sheet on Safe Erection, Use and Dismantling of Falsework

Information on the accident is based on preliminary investigations by the Ministry of Manpower as at
24 February 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 any liability on any party nor should it be taken to encapsulate all the responsibilities and obligations under the law.


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