Recommended by Construction firm fined $130,000 for repeated safety lapses at Hillview condo worksite


SINGAPORE – Construction firm Kingsford Construction Pte Ltd has been fined $130,000 under the Workplace Safety and Health Act for numerous safety lapses at a worksite, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said on Thursday (Aug 3).

The company, which was convicted last Thursday, had actually been engaged to perform building works of Hillview Peak, a condominium development.

MOTHER stated its Occupational Safety and Health Inspectorate performed an assessment on June 8 in 2015 and exposed safety lapses that had actually happened in 2 previous 2 assessments done in October 2014 and May 2015.

Kingsford was made to pay structure fines of $10,000 and $19,000 respectively due to lapses such as open sides and staircases without hand rails (that could result in fall from heights). Quit working orders (SWO) were also released.

The most recent evaluation by MOM – including 3 residential blocks, two basement carparks, a swimming pool and other clubhouse centers – discovered the following lapses:

Open sides at 8 various locations (ranging from the 2nd to the 11th flooring of numerous blocks under construction) were not covered or protected by efficient guard-rails or barriers to prevent fall from heights;

Staircases not supplied with handrails, exposing individuals to the danger of falling off the edge of either side of the staircase;

Staircases not offered with emergency lighting for usage in the event of a power failure, exposing workers to the threat of tripping as a few of the steps of the staircase were undergoing modification works;

Poor housekeeping at several places of work in worksite, exposing workers to risk of tripping; and Safety interlock of a number of traveler and material hoists at the worksite were not correctly functioning; the gates of the hoists could be opened when the platform rose from the landing position, exposing individuals to threats of falling down the method or coming into contact with moving parts of the hoists.
A full SWO was issued from June 8 to July 18 last year.

Given its duplicated failures and recalcitrant mindset to office safety and health, Kingsford was consequently charged for its failure to take “fairly practicable procedures” to ensure the security and health of its employees.

Mr Chan Yew Kwong, MOM’s director of Occupational Safety and Health Inspectorate, said: “MOM sought for a heavy penalty because of Kingsford’s blatant neglect for safety and its repeated failures to abide by our regulatory requirements.

” Companies should address all safety failures recognized throughout a MOM evaluation and put in place effective steps to prevent reoccurrence. They must not put their employees’ lives at risk and wait on a mishap to occur before taking safety seriously.”

Official statistics launched by MOM and the Workplace Safety and Health Institute on Wednesday showed a plunge in workplace deaths and injuries in the very first half of 2017.

Falls from height, however, was among the top 2 causes of work environment death.

An overall of 4,300 office security and health violations were revealed, with 28 companies ordered to stop operations. Fines amounting to $500,000 were troubled companies on the spot.

Kingsford Construction is wholly owned by Mr Cui Zhengfeng, a Shenyang-native from China who is now a Singapore citizen. Mr Cui made the news in 2012 when his company Kingsford Development made its launching in the regional home market by outbidding six others and paying $243.2 million for a land parcel at Hillview Avenue to construct condominium homes, the very same worksite that the MOM found safety lapses in the past 3 years.

Mr Cui also made the news in 2014 when he bought a plum Sentosa Cove cottage for $33 million, which is the registered address of his building business fined by the MOM.

Efforts to reach Mr Cui on Thursday were unsuccessful. An employee at his business, who provided her name as Ms Chan, stated he is abroad and he does not have a cellphone.

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