The SMRT Accident : A Time For An Internal Reflection


By: B Goode

First of all, my condolence to the family of the two victims.

Now for me to put on my tin-foil hat.

I’ll start off with an observation. It might seem petty at first but it might also be a clue as to why the accident happened.

If you chanced upon any MRT station, take a look at the ATMs there. You might find some with flat tops.

Petty? Maybe. But I know for certain that according to their safety and security protocol, all ATMs must have sloping tops. This is to prevent anyone from hiding incendiary or bombs on top of the machines.

And yet apparently, nobody bothered to ensure that this rule is imposed and implemented. Nobody bothered to check.

And now back to the accident. As at the time of writing, the latest update from SMRT was that the accident was probably caused by certain procedure not being followed. If this was true, and taking into consideration the fact about the ATMs with flat tops, something was not right with regard to SMRT’s attitude towards making sure that processes and procedures were being strictly followed.

Do they actually have a department that look into this? If they do, then obviously it is not doing a good job.

Or is the LTA not doing its supervisory role?

In any case, two lives have been unnecessarily lost. As the authorities look for clues and causes for the accident, they should also look at the real reason behind the unfortunate incident.

Somebody has been sleeping on the job.

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2 Responses to The SMRT Accident : A Time For An Internal Reflection

  1. Low sing wai says:

    Before SMRT Maintenance Teams go down to the track from from platform to attend any ad-hoc works that are not scheduled like preventive maintenance, speed codes on the track are to be down or set to restricted speed that is safe for the workers at the track site. When the track codes are down, train PTO will has only one choice that is to run the train in RM or restricted mode not more than 18km/hour. Best solution is to have a stalled train before the working site track area and this is the best protocol since there is a total of 15 persons and some more first time trainees on the job training during off peak traffic hours. More people on the track means higher risk factor. Also to mention a signal staff using walkie talkie should be stationed in the relay room to monitor any departing train from Tampines to Pasir Ris and radio the team on site accordingly. There should also one person holding a red flag standing a certain distance before the work site as look out and flag the PTO. The PTO will sound the train horn and/or flash the high beam light on the front car to acknowledge the flag signal. The person who holds the flag will blow whistle to the working team to alert them to clear tools and stay clear from the track. All work staffs are to wear high visible vest as well. This is the best safety protocol back in 20 years but I really disappointed on the safety lapses when the report was out……sigh!

    Sent from my iPad

  2. sinkie says:

    Well, did you bang table and/or shoot off nasty emails to SMRT senior mgmt. regarding those flat-top ATMs?? If no, then you have no right to expect ground SMRT staff to stick their necks out to bang table at their managers or shoot emails to SMRT HQ. Frankly speaking this is not even the job of SMRT ground staff to ensure no flattop ATMs. What do you do when you see some sweet wrapper or small litter on the floor or corridors in your office?? Or some stranger? 99.99% of you will heck care, just do your own thing, quickly finish whatever tasks your boss wants, and trying to knock off on the dot.

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