WSH Alert: Injured Worker Found Unconscious Near Trailer

01 Apr 2016

Accident Notification: Injured Worker Found Unconscious Near Trailer

On 24 Mar 2016, four workers had completed their task to pump lubrication oil from two ISO Tanks to a vessel. The ISO Tanks were installed on trailers that were parked back-to-back (see photograph below). Subsequently, a prime mover was coupled with one of the trailers to tow it away. During the coupling operation, one of the workers was found injured and unconscious near the back of the trailers. The injured worker was conveyed to hospital but passed away the next day.

Figure: Photo showing a re-enactment at the accident site

Industry is reminded to look into the following to improve the safety of their workplaces:

• Ensure that a proper coupling and decoupling operation plan is established and implemented.

• Drivers should walk around the prime movers and trailers to physically check that there is no person or obstruction in the vicinity prior to each coupling/decoupling operation. Suitable barriers and warning signs should be placed to prevent persons from entering the danger area(s) during a coupling/decoupling operation. This practice should be documented in the safe work procedure and emphasized during toolbox meetings.

• Conduct a thorough Risk Assessment (RA) before starting any work in the trailer parking area. Site-specific hazards are to be identified and control measures put in place to reduce all risks associated with the work activity. The risk of workers being struck by a reversing prime mover and/or trailer must be identified and preventive safety measures established and implemented before allowing trailer parking and prime mover-trailer coupling activities to commence.

*Information on the accident is based on preliminary investigations by the Ministry of Manpower as at 28 March 2016. This may be subject to change as investigations are still on-going. Please note that the information provided here is not exhaustive and for the benefit of enhancing workplace safety and health so that a recurrence may be prevented. The information provided is not to be construed as implying any liability to any party nor should it be taken to encapsulate all the responsibilities and obligations under the law.