A professional engineer in Singapore, who was an Authorised Examiner (AE) for Lifting Equipment (LE) registered with the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), has been fined S$50,000 for failure to exercise due diligence in certifying 14 scissors lifts* safe for use.
(*Scissors lifts provide a safe means of access in the form of an elevated work platform for workers carrying out work-at-height activities.)
According to MOM's press release, Tan Juay Pah was convicted of five charges under the Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Act, and 10 other charges were taken into consideration for the purpose of sentencing. His AE status has also been revoked.
The press release further stated this is the first time an AE has been convicted for failing to exercise due diligence in making certification or conducting any test or examination of any lifting appliance or machine.
A brief background on the incidentsBetween March and October 2016, Tan issued a total of 15 LE Certificates for 14 scissors lifts, even though he did not examine nor test the equipment (he certified one of the scissors lift twice). The LE Certificates were issued to the owners of the scissors lifts who distributed copies to their respective lessees.
Under the WSH Act, a scissors lift must be thoroughly tested and examined once every six months, by an AE who will issue an LE Certificate to indicate that the scissors lift has been checked and is safe for use.
Commenting on this, Er Mohd Ismadi, Director of MOM's Occupational Safety and Health Specialist Department said: "By issuing certificates without conducting proper examinations and tests on the scissors lifts, Tan blatantly disregarded his duty as an AE and knowingly put the users of the scissors lifts at risk.
"MOM will not hesitate to take companies or individuals to task for serious breaches that would compromise the safety and health of workers."
Photo / 123RF