On 23 November 2020, a worker was raising the work platform of a boom lift when he was caught between the guardrail of the boom lift and a roofing structural member. The injured worker was subsequently extricated and pronounced dead at the scene by attending paramedics.

On the following day, 24 November 2020, two separate fatal workplace incidents happened.

First, a worker was checking formwork panels at a construction site when he lost his footing and fell about 0.8m to the ground. The worker was conveyed to the hospital where he succumbed to his injuries the next day.

Second, a worker was tasked to carry out arc welding on a pipe. To facilitate welding works, an inert gas was earlier introduced into the pipe. The worker was subsequently found unconscious with his upper body inside the opening of an adjoining pipe. The worker was conveyed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Following these three fatal workplace incidents, the Workplace Safety and Health Council and the Singapore Contractors Association Ltd (SCAL) have released a joint advisory on 27 November 2020 to strongly urge all construction firms to conduct Safety Time-Out exercise at all their worksites.

Singapore Institution of Safety Officers (SISO) strongly support this call for a Safety Time-Out exercise and urge all SISO members across all industries to work with management to initiate the Safety Time-Out exercise at their work sites.

Mr Bernard Soh, President, SISO, said, “While the three recent fatal incidents mentioned above happened within the construction industry, accidents can happen at any workplace. Thus, we feel it is imperative that all Workplace Safety and Health Officers heed the call on a Safety Time-Out exercise. As SISO has more than 1,100 workplace safety and health professionals as its members, we strongly urge our members to work with management to initiate Safety Time-Out exercises to ensure that safety protocols are strictly adhered to at their workplaces and any safety lapses discovered must be resolved immediately.”

SISO members should refer to the WSH Alerts in the WSHC Bulletin (please visit These alerts provide details of the workplace accidents as well as some tips on how to prevent similar accidents.

In addition, SISO members are urged to initiate the following actions to help prevent workplace accidents:

  • Check that risk assessments are properly conducted
  • Share details of relevant incidents with your work team or colleagues to heighten safety awareness
  • Step up safety inspections
  • Conduct additional safety time outs to emphasize risk management
  • Double check that workers are trained for the work activities, especially workers who have just joined your organization
  • Conduct additional briefing sessions for supervisors

SISO members are urged to complete their Safety Time-Out exercises as soon as possible in the month of December 2020.

We would appreciate if SISO members can inform SISO via email (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) about your Safety Time-Out schedules by 11 December 2020.

Issued by Singapore Institution of Safety Officers on 30 November 2020