Transitioning, a support site for unemployed professionals, managers, engineers and technicians (PMETs) published a letter from a crane operator who was terminated at the end of last month because he exposed unsafe practices at a construction site at Punggol. The man who identified himself as Edward said that he is a Singaporean and started working in the company in Apr 2016, earning a salary of $2500.
He said that his employer let him go after he exposed that the foreign workers who were building HDB Built-To-Order (BTO) flats were doing it the wrong way.
Edward took issue with how the workers at the construction site were using the cement mixture which arrived at their worksite. He said that water should be mixed with the cement only at the cement plant, and that no water should be added to the mixture once it reaches the site.
The quality of the cement mixture must be inspected and approved by the Resident Technical Officer before it can be used to cast the floors, ceilings and pillars in the flats that are being built, Edward said. The workers at the site however continued to add water to the mixture after it was hoisted up to them to be used for casting.
Edward took pictures of how the workers at the construction site were not using the cement mixture as it was intended to be used.
His co-workers, the signalmen who saw him take the photo of the construction workers unsafe hoisting procedures. The sub-contracting company he was working for then warned him not to go public with the pictures he had taken – either to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) or any related authorities.
Edward said: “Recently, I read about the defective BTO issue and know that I can no longer keep quiet about this because one day I’ll stay in one of this too.”
He asked the support site for the unemployed for advice regarding the proper channel he could raise his concerns to.
Transitioning said that Edward has since written to MOM about the malpractices, and that he was terminated on 31 Jul for exposing the unsafe practice. It further identified Hong Dat Engineering Pte Ltd as the sub-contractor and former employer of Edward.
HDB responded to the story and assured flat owners that HDB has a robust quality control system in place for structural work, which is in full compliance with the Building Control Act of BCA. (link: http://hdbspeaks.sg/fi10/fi10336p.nsf/cw/ImproperConstructionPractices?OpenDocument)