Tuas explosion: Inquiry committee recommends criminal proceedings for ‘dereliction of duty’ by firm


SINGAPORE: An industrial accident in Tuas that killed three employees was primarily led to by the corporate’s failure to make sure the protected use of a mixer machine that exploded, an inquiry committee concluded in its report launched on Friday (Mar 25).

The inquiry committee has strongly really useful criminal proceedings towards the corporate – Stars Engrg, its director Chua Xing Da, and manufacturing supervisor Lwin Moe Tun, mentioned Senior Minister of State for Manpower Zaqy Mohamad at a digital press convention on Friday.

The committee’s chairman, Senior District Judge Ong Hian Sun, was of the view that criminal offences have been disclosed in acts and omissions by Stars Engrg, Mr Chua and Mr Lwin, mentioned the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) in a press launch.

The inquiry report has been forwarded to the general public prosecutor.

“The public prosecutor is currently reviewing the report and will require some time to make a considered decision on the further actions to be taken,” mentioned Mr Zaqy.

The accident on Feb 24 final 12 months injured 10 employees, three of whom died from extreme burns to 90 per cent of their our bodies.

Stars Engrg employees have been getting ready a mixer machine to combine potato starch powder with heated water at their workshop in Tuas when the explosion occurred.

They have been manufacturing “fire clay” for use in an insulation wrap which matches round piping and ducting programs in constructing building.

Eight employees from the corporate have been injured in whole, and the three who died have been Bangladeshis Anisuzzaman Md, 29, and Shohel Md, 23, and Indian nationwide Subbaiyan Marimuthu, 38. Two different employees from one other firm have been additionally injured.

The inquiry committee (IC) wanting into the causes of the explosion held hearings from September to November final 12 months.

“The IC concluded that the explosion was primarily brought about by Stars Engrg’s failure and dereliction of duty to ensure the safe use of the mixer machine,” mentioned MOM.

Despite a number of warning indicators, similar to oil leaks and fires, Stars Engrg didn’t correctly examine these incidents earlier than permitting the machine to proceed working, in response to the committee’s findings.

“(Star Engrg’s) actions resulted in excessive pressure on the machine’s oil jacket, causing mechanical failure and rupture of the welds,” MOM mentioned.

The explosion of the mixer machine then ignited flamable potato starch powder within the workshop which led to secondary flash fires.

“Furthermore, the IC also found several other safety lapses at the worksite such as not providing appropriate personal protective equipment or PPE and lack of a clearly indicated fire safety escape route,” mentioned Mr Zaqy.

“The recommendations outlined in the report aim to address two critical failures.”


These suggestions embody encouraging and equipping corporations to certify their machineries to trade security requirements and rising consciousness of flamable mud hazards, he added.

On the administration of flamable mud, the committee famous that tips are already obtainable. 

It recommends placing warning labels on packages and requiring corporations to inform their landlord and the authorities if they’re dealing with a considerable quantity of flamable mud.

It additionally suggests extra outreach on these hazards, particularly for small- and medium-sized enterprises, and to usher in unions to assist educate employees who could also be in danger.

The committee additionally famous that the prevailing Workplace Safety and Health Act already lays out basic duties of stakeholders to make sure the security and well being of employees. 

“Due to the wide variety of industrial machines and combustible powders used in the industry, the IC is minded not to recommend knee-jerk reactions that could result in over-regulation and impose excessive regulatory burden on the economy,” mentioned the press launch.

MOM mentioned the Government has accepted all of the committee’s suggestions.

Mr Zaqy added: “We firmly believe that we must always be many steps ahead when it comes to our workers’ safety. Now to this end, we will surely ensure that these measures are implemented as soon as possible.”


Giving an replace on the injured employees, Mr Zaqy mentioned two Star Engrg employees have returned to their residence international locations after receiving compensation.

The remaining three employees are staying on the Stars Engrg dormitory and their dwelling and medical bills are being paid for by the corporate.

Two of them are awaiting insurance coverage payouts and one employee’s declare is “pending final assessment by the medical board”, mentioned Mr Zaqy. 

“Since the last inquiry committee in 2004 for the Nicoll Highway collapse, we have made great strides in our efforts to improve workplace safety and health in Singapore,” he mentioned.

The deadly harm fee declined from 4.9 per 100,000 again then to 0.9 per 100,000 accidents in 2020.

“Nonetheless, despite our huge strides made, this accident shows that we still have some way to go towards our Vision Zero goal. I strongly urge employers and employees to take learning points outlined by the inquiry committee seriously,” mentioned Mr Zaqy.

Full particulars of the IC’s findings and proposals could be discovered at this website.

Tuas explosion: Inquiry committee recommends criminal proceedings for 'dereliction of duty' by firm

Chew Hui Min

Source : channelnewsasia.com

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