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Jail for company director who negligently caused worker's death by using excavator without training

SINGAPORE — He lacked any formal training in using an excavator safely, yet the director of a waste collection firm operated one for several months before his actions in using the machine led to the death of a worker in 2019.

Jail for company director who negligently caused worker's death by using excavator without training
Kasi Seenivasan, 58, was jailed for six months and two weeks, for offences under the Workplace Safety and Health Act.

SINGAPORE — He lacked any formal training in using an excavator safely, yet the director of a waste collection firm operated one for several months before his actions in using the machine led to the death of a worker in 2019.

For this, Kasi Seenivasan, 58, was on Monday (March 28) jailed for six months and two weeks, for offences under the Workplace Safety and Health Act. He pleaded guilty to charges of committing a negligent act, which resulted in the death of the worker.

Kasi, the director of SKN Transport and Services, also faced two other charges of failing to ensure the safety of his worker as well as for illegal employment. These were taken into consideration for the purpose of sentencing, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said on Tuesday.

WHAT HAPPENED

On March 1 in 2019, a worker was on the premises of SKN to offload a skip bin of hardcore debris from a truck he was driving.

A skip bin is a large open-topped waste container designed for loading onto a special type of lorry.

However, the skip bin’s door was blocked by an excavator that was parked nearby.

Kasi then operated the excavator to move it out of the way.

Kasi’s negligence shows a complete lack of focus on workers’ safety. MOM would like to remind all stakeholders to ensure vehicles and machinery are operated only by trained personnel, to prevent further occurrences of such accidents.
Mr Sebastian Tan, director of occupational safety and health inspectorate at the Ministry of Manpower

While doing so, the excavator struck the worker who was standing next to the truck, causing him to hit his head against the skip bin’s door.

The worker was taken to a hospital but died the next day. MOM did not name the deceased worker.

Investigations by MOM found that Kasi did not attend any formal training on operating an excavator before the accident and was thus “not equipped with the skills to handle an excavator safely”.

“Despite this, he had been operating the excavator on his own within the premises since it was purchased in September 2018.

“In doing so, Kasi failed in his duty to ensure the safe operation of an excavator as well as the safety of others when carrying out his work. His negligence endangered the safety of a worker, and ultimately caused his death,” MOM added.

Mr Sebastian Tan, director of occupational safety and health inspectorate at MOM, said that the “tragic incident could have been prevented” if a trained worker had operated the machine instead.

“Kasi’s negligence shows a complete lack of focus on workers’ safety. MOM would like to remind all stakeholders to ensure vehicles and machinery are operated only by trained personnel, to prevent further occurrences of such accidents,” he added.

Related topics

Ministry of Manpower crime workplace safety negligence

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