Company fined $200k for workplace tragedy

by Adelle Chua23 Jan 2018
A company was fined $200,000 for lapses in conducting specific risk assessment and establishing work procedures that led to the fatal electrocution of an employee in November 2013.

According to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), MW Group, an equipment calibration and testing firm, committed the lapses in relation to an arc reflection system machine prior to the accident.

“The employer knew that the technicians were exposed to the risk of electrocution and yet failed to provide the technicians with a step by step guide on how to do the job safely," said Chan Yew Kwong, MOM director of occupational safety and health inspectorate.

Technicians working that day were not aware of any risk assessment, safe work procedures or any other control measures to protect them from electrocution.

But the Energy Market Authority, which conducted the investigation, found that MW Group had conducted a general risk assessment for electrical testing and that electrocution was identified as a hazard during this assessment, reported TODAY.

Despite this, no control measures were put in place to prevent the reasonable foreseeable risk.

The deceased, Suyambu Suman, was holding a high voltage probe while testing and calibrating the machine from 2kV upwards to 12kV. As the DC output voltage level of the machine gradually built up to 12kV.

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