Accident Advisory: Worker struck by boom lift

05 Dec 2018

Ref No.: 051218 (1)
UEN: S97SS0046G

Dear Valued ASPRI Members,

Accident Advisory: Worker struck by boom lift

Ref: 1819058 WSH Alert Accident Notification dated 7 November 2018

On 12 October 2018 around 9 am, a team of workers attempted to lift a boom lift using a lorry crane. Whilst lifting, the web slings used to rig the boom lift snapped, causing the boom lift to fall to the ground and strike one of the workers. The worker was pronounced dead at the scene by the attending paramedics


Persons in control of workplaces and work activities such as occupiers, principals and employers are advised to consider the following risk control measures to prevent similar accidents/incidents:

Lifting Plan

  • Establish a lifting plan to ensure that the lifting operation can be carried out safely. The lifting plan should take into consideration the following key elements (non-exhaustive):
    • Details of the load
    • Details of the lifting equipment/lifting gears used
    • Means of communications
    • Personnel involved in the lifting operation
    • Physical and environmental considerations
    • Sequence/special precaution
    • Sketch of the lifting zone

Competent Lifting Crew

  • Ensure that the following lifting team members are appointed for each lifting operation:
    • Lifting equipment operator
    • Lifting supervisor
    • Rigger
    • Signalman
  • Ensure that lifting team members (lifting equipment operator, lifting supervisor, rigger, signalman) are competent and have successfully completed the relevant safety and health training in relation to their assigned roles and responsibilities (e.g. WSQ Supervise Safe Lifting Operations course for lifting supervisors).

Suitable Lifting Equipment

  • Ensure that the selected lifting equipment has sufficient lifting capacity and reach to handle the intended load.

Know the Load

  • Determine the weight of the load prior to the lifting operation. Comparison must be made to the lifting capacity of the selected lifting equipment to avoid overloading.
  • Always maintain the load‘s centre of gravity directly beneath the load line (i.e. the hook). Otherwise, the load may swing when it is lifted and hit someone.

Safe Lifting Operation

  • Ensure all lifting gears (e.g. slings, webbings, shackles and chains) are within the Safe Working Load of the lift, in good condition and meet the requirements stated in regulation 20 of the Workplace Safety and Health (General Provisions) Regulations.
  • Demarcate the lifting zone and ensure that no unauthorised personnel enter the zone while the lifting operation is in progress
  • Check that all members of the lifting team are in a safe position before starting the lifting operation.
  • Ensure that the load is secured, stable and balanced throughout the lifting operation.
  • Use tag lines to control the load while it is being manoeuvred.

Risk Assessment

Conduct a thorough Risk Assessment (RA) for all work activities to control any foreseeable risk that may arise during lifting operations. The RA should cover, but not limited to, the following areas:

  • Absence of authorised, competent and trained personnel to form the lifting team
  • Lack of suitable lifting gears to rig the load
  • Validity of the lifting equipment and gears

Further Information

  1. Workplace Safety and Health Act
  2. Workplace Safety and Health (Risk Management) Regulations
  3. Workplace Safety and Health (General Provisions) Regulations
  4. Workplace Safety and Health (Operation of Cranes) Regulations 2011
  5. Code of Practice on Workplace Safety and Health Risk Management
  6. Code of Practice on Safe Lifting Operations in the Workplaces
  7. SS 343: 2014 Specification for Lifting Gear – Part 1: Wire rope slings, Part 2: Hooks, Part 3: Shackles
  8. WSH Council’s Guidebook for Lifting Supervisors
  9. Worker’s Safety Handbook for Lorry Crane Operator
  10. Worker’s Safety Handbook for Rigger and Signalman
  11. WSH Council’s 6 Basic WSH Rules for Lifting Operations