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29 April 2016
Accident Advisory: Worker and Forklift Fell Through Opening
Ref: 1617005, WSH Alert accident notification dated 08 April 2016
On 2 Apr 2016, a worker was checking a forklift on the 4th storey of a building under construction
when the forklift suddenly surged backwards and fell through a floor opening. He fell together with it
and landed on the floor below. He was conveyed to the hospital where he later succumbed to his
Figure: Photo of Accident Scene
Occupiers and employers with similar activities in their workplaces are advised to consider the
following risk control measures to prevent similar accidents:
De-energisation of forklift
Ensure that when a forklift is parked, the forks are fully lowered, controls put in neutral mode,
power shut off and parking brakes applied to prevent any unwanted movement.
In the event that an unmanned vehicle (including a forklift) moved inadvertently, the driver or
operator should not attempt to re-enter the moving vehicle. Instead the driver or operator should
immediately disperse any personnel near or in the travel path of the vehicle.
Ensure that all authorised forklift operators have minimally passed the Workforce Skills
Qualification Operate Forklift Course and obtained a Statement of Attainment.
Ensure that all authorised forklift operators have attended refresher training on the operation of
forklift every 3 years.
Fall distance of
about 7 meters
forklift fell from
Additional in-house training with support from the forklift’s supplier is highly recommended.
Ensure that all forklifts have undergone preventive maintenance in accordance with manufacturers’
Ensure that all forklift maintenance works are carried out by authorised, competent and trained
Designated areas for forklift maintenance
Provide an area designated for forklift maintenance. Ensure that all forklift maintenance works are
carried out only at these designated areas.
Ensure that the area designated for forklift maintenance is not near any hazardous zones such as
an edge of building or any openings.
Daily Pre-operational check
Ensure that the authorised forklift operator carry out a daily pre-operational check before operating
any forklift. Any damage or defects spotted must be reported to the supervisor immediately.
Develop and provide a daily pre-operational checklist to facilitate the checking process.
Conduct a thorough RA for all work activities to manage any foreseeable risk that may arise in
connection with management and operation of forklifts. The RA should cover all foreseeable risks
and include the following:
- Possibility of any forklift movement while carrying out maintenance works; and
- Forklift operation near hazardous zones such as floor openings.
Workplace Safety and Health Act (Chapter 354A)
Workplace Safety and Health (Risk Management) Regulations
Code of Practice on Workplace Safety and Health Risk Management
WSH Guidelines on Safe Operation of Forklift Trucks
WSH Guidelines on Workplace Traffic Safety Management
Singapore Standard 528: 2012 Code of practice for the safe use of powered counterbalanced forklifts
WSH Council’s Forklift Safety Pack
WSH Council's Activity Based Checklist for Safe Use of Forklift Trucks
*Information on the accident is based on preliminary investigations by the Ministry of Manpower as at 22 April
2016. This may be subject to change as investigations are still on-going. Please note that the information provided
here is not exhaustive and is 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.
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