Two subsidiaries of Chengdu-based engineering company China Railway Group Limited (No. 8) have been issued stop-work order by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) after two China workers died in the work sites.

Two weeks ago on (Oct 30), a China worker was killed at the metalworking factory when he was crushed by steel plates that were dislodged during a lifting operation.

Last Thursday (Nov 5) at a work site in Punggol, a China worker fell out of the bucket of an excavator from a height of 5m. A MOM investigation found that the company did not set up proper access for the excavator which led to unsafe excavation works leading to his death.

The stop-work order issued today (Nov 9) will suspend all work until safety compliances are rectified upon MOM’s inspection. According to the MOM, both companies face a combined fine up to S$500,000 for failing to take reasonably practicable measures to ensure the safety and health of their workers.

“The ministry takes a very serious view of these lapses which show clear disregard by the occupiers to put in place basic safety measures. The lack of responsibility on the part of the occupiers had cost two workers their lives.”

Senior Minister of Manpower Sam Tan weighed in and said the safety lapes were unacceptable and could have been avoided:

“It is deplorable for companies to subject their workers to such foreseeable risks. We will take stern action against these errant companies who had failed to ensure a safe workplace for their workers.”

A search on China Railway Group Limited found that its No. 5 Singapore operations of the same group was awarded S$247 million for the construction of Thomson Line’s Lentor station and its associated tunnels in 2013.