Gondola operators should be trained

The workers who were rescued from a fire at a Punggol construction site are a reminder of the importance of proper training in emergency preparedness (Two rescued in Punggol construction site fire; May 17).

As it is understood, the fire that broke out cut off electricity to operate the gondola that the workers were in. They were left stranded and suffered smoke inhalation as a result.

All gondolas come with a primary brake which can be released manually if there is a power failure.

Had these workers been trained on how they could free themselves, they would have been able to bring their platform down to safety on that day.

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Gondola operators are supposed to undergo specific training on operation features, including knowing the emergency procedure, the precautionary measures to be taken in manually cranking the working platform, and the use of communication devices.

In Hong Kong, such platform operators are required to receive basic training and be certified. Is there no such requirement in Singapore?

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