DPM Tharman: No Compromise on Lift Safety

The Jurong Town Council will take responsibility for the lift accident that severed an elderly woman’s hand in Taman Jurong last week, said Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) and Jurong GRC Member of Parliament (MP) Tharman Shanmugaratnam yesterday (14 Oct).

“There’s nothing to hide, there must have been something wrong with the lift even if maintenance checks were done,” DPM Tharman told reporters after visiting Mdm Khoo Bee Hua, 85, at the National University Hospital. He also said that there can be "no compromise" on lift safety, as he revealed that the probe into the accident would last at least two weeks.

Mdm Khoo, whose left hand was severed by a lift in her Tah Ching Road block last Friday (9 Oct), also broke her left leg when she fell.

"Lifts are something that we depend on every day... We really don't want people to have to worry about their safety when taking the lift," said DPM Tharman, an MP in Mdm Khoo’s ward.

On the incident, Mr Tharman said it was “too early to say” if it would trigger an overhaul of the lift systems in Housing and Development Board flats. “Let’s find out what the problem was in this case,” he said.

He called for safety standards in technical, engineering and maintenance works to be raised, as well as a "strong system of audit" to perform regular checks on lifts on top of the work done by maintenance contractors. "We need (a) culture of going for zero accidents... particularly when it comes to lifts."

Jurong Town Council chairman David Ong added that Mr Chan Chee Kong, a professional engineer from Nexco Enterprise, will be  conducting the probe.

"We will do all we can to assist (Mdm Khoo and her family), be it their medical fees or other needs," Mr Ong added.

Source:“DPM Tharman: Develop culture of zero accidents, especially for lifts” (The Straits Times, 15 October 2015), “Jurong Town Council to take responsibility for lift accident: Tharman” (TODAYOnline, 15 October 2015)

Photo Source: Lianhe Zaobao. Copyright © 2015 Singapore Press Holdings. Reprinted with Permission.

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