Singapore Fines Jurong Shipyard for Fatal Accident
Singapore's Ministry of Manpower has fined Jurong Shipyard $170,000 for a 2011 accident that killed two yard workers. On October 29, 2011, two employees were working in a cherry picker (manlift) to sandblast the bow of the tanker F Elephant in drydock. The cherry lift's boom failed and bent, causing the manbasket at the end of the boom to fall about 90 feet. Neither occupant survived.
The yard had just overhauled the cherry picker several months before the accident, and workers had found significant corrosion on all of its boom sections. The wastage on the second boom section was more than 50 percent of original thickness in areas. Despite evidence that the structure of the boom was weakened, yard workers removed the corrosion, repainted the unit and put it back in service. The yard used the wrong measures for allowable wastage to assess whether the boom was still safe, selecting class society guidelines for corrosion of vessel scantlings rather than manufacturer recommendations for the maintenance of lifting equipment.
In addition, the ministry wrote, Jurong's workers had only inspected one portion of the boom for corrosion and cracking during daily and weekly checks. The defects that caused the fatal accident were in the unextended boom sections that were not regularly inspected. In total, Jurong was fined $170,000 for failure to ensure the workers' safety.
It was the yard's second workplace safety fine in three months, following shortly after the announcement of a $300,000 penalty for the Noble Regina Allen incident. On December 3, 2012, the newbuild rig Noble Regina Allen tilted during testing of its jack-up systems. 1,000 workers and subcontracters were on board at the time of the incident. There was only one gangway set up for escape, and some individuals chose to jump into the sea to get away. 89 workers were taken to hospitals for treatment.
The ministry determined that one of the rig's leg motors could not hold the weight of the hull when the brakes on the leg were released. It determined that Jurong Shipyard had not performed an adequate risk assessment and had not provided an adequate means for workers to get off the rig in an emergency. "The heavy fine reflected the very serious safety breaches by Jurong Shipyard that had put at risk the lives of 1,000 workers on board the oil rig at the time of the accident," said ministry health and safety chief Chan Yew Kwong in a statement.
All images courtesy Singapore Ministry of Manpower