Death of S'porean worker, 31, at Rifle Range Road caused by partially-inserted forklift forks: Investigations

Chow was about to start a new job and get married in 2023.

Fiona Tan | January 06, 2023, 04:12 PM

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Preliminary investigations have revealed that the forks of a forklift were not fully inserted during the workplace accident at Rifle Range Road on Dec. 27, 2022, resulting in the death of a 31-year-old Singaporean male worker.

Forks not fully inserted

The forklift was in the midst of transferring the piece of heavy machinery at around 7:53 am that day.

However, the Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Council said in their Jan. 5 alert that the forks were not fully inserted during the lifting, causing the machinery to topple onto Ely Chow.

Image screenshot from Workplace Safety Health Council alert.

Chow was pinned down by the machine, and fell unconscious.

He was conveyed to Ng Teng Fong General Hospital, where he was subsequently pronounced dead.

Was about to get married this year

Chow was employed by labour supply company RCM Resource as a general worker at the ST Engineering Advanced Material Engineering plant at 601 Rifle Range Road.

CNA reported that Chow was a contract part-time staff member and he was about to start a new job.

He was also intending to get married this year.

Chow's siblings told CNA that he was a "well-liked and kind' person who was "very dedicated to whatever he's doing".

Six forklift-related fatalities in 2022

The Ministry of Manpower instructed ST Engineering Advanced Material Engineering Pte Ltd to stop all lifting operations on Dec. 27, 2022, after the accident.

The Singapore Police Force said a 62-year-old man was later arrested for causing death by a negligent act on the same day.

Chow's death marked the 45th workplace fatality last year.

The WSH Council said there were six cases of forklift-related fatal workplace accidents in 2022, and they urged companies using forklifts to undertake an urgent assessment of their safety measures.

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Top image from Ely Chow/Facebook and screenshot from Workplace Safety Health Council alert