Alert Advisory: Worker caught in between moving machinery and wall

24 Apr 2019

Ref No.: 240419 (1)

UEN: S97SS0046G

Dear Valued ASPRI Members,

Alert Advisory: Worker caught in between moving machinery and wall

Ref: 1819085 WSH Alert Accident Notification dated 18 February 2019

On 17 January 2019 around 8.40am, a worker walking to his work area was caught in between a moving rail-guided ladle car and the wall along its tracks. The worker was pronounced dead at the scene by attending paramedics


Caught-in or caught-between accidents occur when a worker’s body part is caught, crushed, squeezed, compressed or pinched between two or more objects. Persons in control of workplaces that present such a hazard should consider the following risk control measures to prevent similar accidents:

Workplace layout

  • Perform a site walkabout to identify work areas that may pose a caught-in or caught-between hazard.
  • Adjust the workplace layout to ensure that enough space is provided around machines or process units to allow for normal operation, adjustments and ordinary repairs, and for storage of materials.For more information on workplace layout, refer to Singapore Standard SS 567: 2011 for Factory Layout – Safety, Health and Welfare Considerations.

Access to work area

  • Provide workers with a safe means of access to and egress from their work area. In particular, ensure that:
    • passageways between machines, installations (including walls) or piles of material should be 60 cm or greater (Ref: SS 567: 2011 Section 2.1.6).; and
    • for equipment involving use of tracks/rail, an unobstructed passageway (on each side of each rail) is maintained parallel to and extended to the entire length of the tracks/rail.
  • If a safe passageway cannot be provided, the access route (e.g. through fencing or hoarding) should be closed and signages installed to warn workers of the hazard zone.
  • Ensure workers are briefed on the danger of being caught in between a moving equipment and the surrounding installations should they decide not to use the designated access or egress route.

Workplace lighting

  • Provide adequate lighting along all access routes and at areas where work is to be carried out. Adequate lighting will help to raise workers’ situational awareness and enable them to better identify workplace hazards.
  • Avoid lighting that is too bright to minimise glare and reflection. It is better to provide multiple low-strength lights to cover an area, than a single bright light source.
  • Ensure uniform lighting across the work area. Large contrast in brightness when moving from one place to another will put a strain on workers’ eyes (due to continual adjustment between bright and dark areas).

For more information on workplace lighting, refer to Singapore Standard SS 531-1: 2006 (2013) Code of Practice for Lighting of Work Places – Indoor and SS 531-2: 2008 (2014) Code of Practice for Lighting of Work Places – Outdoor.

Work supervision

  • The supervisor (or appointed representative) should walk around the work area to confirm that there is no person or obstruction in the vicinity prior to all movement of machine or equipment. This practice should be clearly documented in the safe work procedure and emphasized during daily toolbox meetings.
  • Work supervision includes supervision of on-site work undertaken by contractors and subcontractors. All contractors and subcontractors will need to work closely with the occupier to develop site-specific risk assessments and safe work procedures for the assigned work activities.

Advice for workers

  • Be aware of the moving equipment around you and keep a safe distance from all moving equipment. Never place yourself between a moving equipment and an immovable structure or stack of materials.
  • Proceed with the work only if you are trained for the equipment to be used and are aware of the hazards of your assigned task so that you can carry out your work safely.


Conduct a thorough Risk Assessment (RA) for all work activities to manage any foreseeable risk that may arise when moving within or across work sites. The RA should cover, but is not limited, to the following:

  • The access route for workers to get to or from their designated work location(s).
  • The possibility of workers being caught-in or -between objects along these access routes during routine (normal) operation and non-routine (e.g. shut-down maintenance) operation.
  • Effectiveness of communication to all workers including contractors and sub-contractors


  1. Workplace Safety and Health Act
  2. Workplace Safety and Health (Risk Management) Regulations
  3. Workplace Safety and Health (General Provisions) Regulations
  4. Code of Practice on Workplace Safety and Health Risk Management
  5. SS 567: 2011 Code of Practice for Factory Layout – Safety, Health and Welfare Considerations
  6. SS 531-1: 2006 (2013) Code of Practice for Lighting of Work Places – Indoor SS 531-2: 2008 (2014) Code of Practice for Lighting of Work Places – Outdoor SS 531-3: 2008 (2014) Code of Practice for Lighting of Work Places – Lighting Requirements for Safety and Security of Outdoor Work Places
  7. Workplace Safety and Health Guidelines on Contractor Management
  8. WSH Council’s Toolbox Meeting Kit

Information on the accident is based on preliminary investigations by the Ministry of Manpower as at
11 March 2019. This may be subject to change as investigations are still on-going. Please also note that the recommendations provided here are not exhaustive and they are meant to enhance workplace safety and health so that a recurrence may be prevented. The information and recommendations provided are not to be construed as implying any liability on any party nor should it be taken to encapsulate all the responsibilities and obligations under the law.