Dear All,

Recent news read about two workers who slept inside a container and being shipped over for 9 days from Bangladesh to Singapore. (see below article).

Anyway, what it can relate to us in our company operations, especially pertaining to safety?

Few relevant points to draw on this issue and to share with the site team are, as follow:

  1. Remember, in a week, any worker is only allowed to work NOT MORE than 72 hours, inclusive of over-time; or, 12 hours daily. Check the time-card, before signing and plan the OT in advance.
  2. If a person does not fit to work (e.g. due to sleepy, hangover, on special medication/drugs, etc), respective supervisor/OM/SM should observe the situation and do not allow him to work as it might endanger others/himself.
  3. Possession and consuming of any liquors/alcoholic drinks/drugs is strictly prohibited.
  4. Unauthorised person is not allowed to access barricaded zone / danger area (e.g. under the stacking of load cells, etc). Let alone, to use that area for resting / sleeping. There was a reported case in New Delhi Metro construction site that two workers were illegally entering the construction site to take a nap, unknowingly a dumper truck dumped mud over them. Both were found dead afterward.
  5. Again, no operator should be allowed sleeping/eating/drinking/reading/smoking/receiving phone call/sms-ing inside machine cabin during working hour/operation or even resting during meal time/tea break.
  6. And lastly, would in any 24-hours operations site, there are workers who (allowed to) ‘take-turn’ sleeping? (Especially during the night shift). In this case, the EHS team would investigate further.

Hope that few points could be relevant and be a reminder to us.

You may share your comment /feedback.

Thank you and have a good weekend.


David Simon.

Two shipped to Singapore after dozing in container, one dead
(Source: NewsOne, 16 April 2011)

Dhaka, April 15 (IANS) Two Bangladeshi port workers who slept off in a container at Chittagong port ended up in Singapore via Malaysia – having gone without food and water for nine days. One of them died, a media report said Friday.

Din Islam, 30, said he and co-worker Alamgir got trapped while resting in the container April 1. They had nothing but a pack of cigarettes between them.

Singapore police said Din Islam and the body of Alamgir were discovered last Sunday by workers at Pasir Panjong Container Terminal in Singapore after they heard loud banging in the container.

Authorities in Singapore are treating this as a genuine case.

Singapore police said they do not believe that foul play was involved. However, some people think the men could have got into the container with an intent to seek employment abroad.

Earlier, fortune-seekers took risky journeys from Cox’s Bazar in southeastern Bangladesh to Malaysia, and many have died on the way, The Daily Star of Dhaka said.

The New Paper and the Straits Times of Singapore reported the incident.

The container was carried from Chittagong Port to Singapore by cargo ship Hansa Caledo, which sailed from Chittagong April 2.

The two men had completed their cleaning chores at Chittagong Port when they popped into the empty container to take a nap, Din Islam told Singapore police, reported The Straits Times Tuesday.

Din Islam said they shouted and banged on the walls of the container to attract attention before it was being shipped. But no help came.

‘Then we just slept and we didn’t know that the container had been picked up and transported onto the ship. By the time we woke up, we were probably already on the ship,’ Din told The New Paper.

He said his colleague, estimated to be 40 years old, collapsed and died after a few days in the container.

‘I really didn’t know what to do. I was very scared… I cried and I prayed to god for a miracle to happen. I prayed for my life,’ he added.

The Hansa Caledo made a five-day journey from Chittagong to Singapore.

After arrival in Singapore, the container was moved to the port’s yard.

On Sunday, as the container was being moved to a trailer so it could be reloaded onto another ship bound for Vietnam, dock workers heard banging from inside.

When they opened the door, they found Din Islam with the decomposing corpse of his co-worker with no travel document.

Alamgir’s corpse was taken to Singapore General Hospital, while police have handed over Din Islam to Transient Workers Count Too (TWC), a charity for migrants in Singapore.

He will be under TWC’s care until he is fully fit to return home, said Bangladeshi A.K.M. Mohsin, who is the editor of Banglar Kantha, a Bangla newspaper published from Singapore.

‘Details of the two men could not be known yet,’ Bangladesh High Commission First Secretary Zahid Hossain in Singapore told The Daily Star over the phone.