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Singapore Shipyard Fined for 2011 Blaster Fall

Monday, January 8, 2018

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Years after two workers fell to their death on a jobsite, Singapore-based Jurong Shipyard has been fined S$230,000 ($173,000) by safety regulators. Reports indicate the incident stemed from the equipment being used, and how it was maintained.

According to Channel NewsAsia, the workers fell almost 100 feet from a hydraulic crane that had not been maintained according to manufacturer standards.

Shipyard Deaths

On Oct. 29, 2011, at the time of the incident, Ramudu Sivakumar, 25, and Phromprasoet Thanawan, 32, were working from the basket of a cherry picker when the boom collapsed and buckled to the floor of the dry dock. The employees, working under Shipblast Marine, had been grit-blasting the surface of a vessel docked at Jurong Shipyard, which is owned by Sembcorp Marine.

The Ministry of Manpower noted that all four boom sections and the basket of the cherry picker were corroded. The piece of equipment had just undergone an 18-month overhaul, completed in July 2011.

Even with the overhaul, the second boom section’s boom plate had been worn down to half its original thickness—6 millimeters. Manufacturer guidelines indicated that the boom should have been replaced, but the shipyard referred to the American Bureau of Shipping rules for survey after construction instead of the manufacturer's literature, and as a result, the equipment was not maintained correctly.

On top of this, Jurong Shipyard only blasted and painted over the affected areas, noted TODAYonline, and failed to complete comprehensive checks of the boom. Visual checks were performed with the boom extended to 64 feet, when it should have been extended to the full length of 114 feet.

The unseen defects are what caused the accident, noted TODAYonline.

In failing to ensure the cherry picker was maintained in a safe condition, Jurong Shipyard was fined under the Workplace Safety and Health Act.

Previous Infractions

The shipyard was also fined S$400,000 ($301,376) in November for safety lapses that resulted in the tilting of the Noble Regina Allen oil rig, which had been under construction in December 2012. Nearly 1,000 workers were on board at the time, and 89 people were sent to various hospitals for injury treatment.


Tagged categories: Accidents; Blasting; Health and safety; Shipyards

Comment from Thomas Van Hooser, (1/15/2018, 11:56 AM)


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