Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MoM) has imposed a fine of $400,000 ($294,247) on Sembcorp Marine’s Jurong Shipyard for failing in its duty to take reasonable measures necessary to ensure the safety and health of employees in a rig construction accident that occurred at the yard almost five years ago.
In December 2012, Noble Regina Allen, an oil rig under construction at Jurong, tilted suddenly during testing of the jack-up system. About 1,000 workers onboard the rig had to evacuate through only one escape gangway, resulting in injuries to 89 workers.
An investigation conducted by the ministry has found that the jacking control system of the rig was not designed to be fail-safe. In addition, the shipyard had failed to take adequate safety measures for the testing of the jack-up system of the oil rig by not undertaking an adequate risk assessment, not implementing control measures in safe work procedure and not providing adequate means of egress and escape.
“As the principal contractor, Jurong Shipyard had the duty to plan, manage and monitor the construction of projects to ensure work was performed in a safe manner. This included emergency arrangements and procedures. 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 Chan Yew Kwong, MoM’s director of occupational safety and health inspectorate.
Last year, Jurong Shipyard suffered another rig construction incident, in which Noble Corpration’s newbuid jackup rig Noble Lloyd Noble was damaged and several shipyard workers were injured.