SINGAPORE: The first workplace fatality for 2024 occurred on Thursday (Jan 4), when a construction worker fell around 7.5 meters at a Jurong Region Line MRT job site.

The Myanmar national, 27, was an employee of Jiangxi Construction Development. He was brought to Ng Teng Fong General Hospital after the mishap. Unfortunately, he succumbed to the injuries he sustained after falling from the edge of an unfinished platform that he had been working on.

Construction at along Jurong West Street 75, the site of the planned Gek Poh station, was halted after the man’s fall, which occurred at about 2:30 am.

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“A safety timeout was also imposed on all worksites. We are also assisting the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) with its investigations into the accident,” the Land Transport Authority (LTA) is quoted as saying in a CNA article.

”We share our deepest condolences with the family of the deceased worker and are working with our contractors to provide them with support and assistance.”

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The Jurong Region Line began construction in 2020 and is set to open in three phases between 2027 and 2029. In 2018, then Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan said that the line marked a quantum leap in the Government’s improvement of transport infrastructure for Jurong. The 24-km long line will have 24 stations and will run above-ground.

“This will help to redistribute and relieve train loading between Choa Chu Kang and Jurong East stations so that commuters can enjoy more comfortable rides,” said Mr Khaw.

The line is also expected to help develop the Jurong Lake District (JLD) into the biggest commercial hub outside the CBD.

The Straits Times noted that the worker’s Jan 4 death is the second to have occurred at an LTA job site in two months, as well as the second death of an employee who had worked on the Jurong Region Line.

On Dec 2, a 23-year-old worker from India died at a job site at 770 Jurong Road for the Tengah integrated rail and bus depot.  The death of Mr Ponraman Eazhumalai brought the total of reported workplace fatalities for 2023 to at least 22.

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In the previous year, there had been at least 44 such deaths, the biggest number of such fatalities since 2016, when 66  people died in workplace mishaps. For comparison, there were 37 workplace deaths in 2021, 30 in 2020, and 39 in 2019. /TISG

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