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Written Reply by Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan to Parliamentary Question on Measures to Ensure Safety of Workers during Construction of Cross Island Line Tunnel

06 Jan 2020 In Parliament

Mr Murali Pillai asked the Minister for Transport in relation to the building of the Cross Island Line tunnel at a depth of 70 metres below ground, what kind of challenges does the Ministry anticipate that will have an impact on the safety of workers during the construction of the tunnel and what measures will be put in place to ensure their safety.

Reply by Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan:

1.     Tunnelling underground requires deep expertise, complex machinery and precise execution, regardless of the depth. The challenges faced by workers constructing the Cross Island Line tunnels are similar to those faced for the existing Downtown Line and upcoming Thomson-East Coast Line tunnels. With the implementation of appropriate mitigation measures, the deeper Cross Island Line tunnels do not pose any additional health and safety risk to workers.

2.     LTA supervises every tunnelling project closely. All tunnelling works must conform to prevailing fire, safety and health regulations. LTA also works with its contractors to ensure that there are multiple safeguards in place for workers. This includes the use of personal protective equipment, provision of adequate lighting and ventilation, as well as the regular rehearsal of contingency plans. These plans include the emergency evacuation of workers from the tunnels to the surface.