Singapore, 16 March 2021 – The Minister for Manpower, Josephine Teo, has appointed an inquiry committee under Section 26 of the Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Act to inquire into the causes and circumstances that led to a fatal fire and explosion at 32E Tuas Avenue 11 on 24 February 2021.
Senior District Judge, Ong Hian Sun, will chair the inquiry committee. He will be assisted by two assessors, Lucas Ng Hong Kiang, General Manager of Plant, Petrochemical Corporation of Singapore (Private) Limited, and Dr Peter Nagler, Chief Innovation Officer at A*STAR.
The committee will look into and ascertain the causes and circumstances that led to the explosion. Work have begun and the committee had visited the incident site with Senior Minister of State for Manpower, Zaqy Mohamad, who was briefed on the status of the investigations.
The inquiry committee’s terms of reference are to:
- Inquire into and ascertain the causes and circumstances of the accident that led to an explosion at the premises of Stars Engrg Pte Ltd located at 32E Tuas Ave 11 on 24 February 2021;
- Make recommendations to prevent the recurrence of such an accident at workplaces;
- Consider the evidence put before the inquiry committee as led by the state counsel from the Attorney General’s chambers;
- Make and submit a report of its proceedings, findings, recommendations and any other relevant observations related to the cause of the accident to the Minister for Manpower (MOM);
- If the district judge appointed to the inquiry committee is of the opinion that criminal proceedings ought to be instituted against any person in connection with the accident, he/she shall also forward a copy of the report to the public prosecutor.
The incident has resulted in the deaths of three workers so far, with another five still in critical condition. The inquiry committee is expected to carry out a thorough study into this. The last time an inquiry was convened for a workplace accident was in 2004, to investigate the incident at the MRT worksite that led to the collapse of Nicoll Highway. Since then, MOM has worked closely with industry stakeholders to significantly improve workplace safety and health in Singapore.
Singapore’s fatal injury rate at workplaces reduced from 4.9 per 100,000 workers in 2004 to 1.1 per 100,000 workers in 2019.
– Construction+ Online