COLLAPSED GOAL POST THAT KILLED STUDENT WAS NOT A SAFETY CONCERN IN SAFETY CHECKS

Dear A.S.S. Editor

The MOE has taken steps since the tragic death of a schoolboy from a goalpost dropping on his head in April of this year, by issuing guidelines on to enhance safety pertaining to goal posts in schools. Among the guidelines given were that schools have to attach warning labels to crossbars 1.8m high and above. Foldable goal posts can also no longer be used in schools.

This came about after the death of student Muhammad Hambali Sumathi from Geylang Methodist Secondary School. Investigations had revealed that Hambali and his classmates were having their physical education lesson in their school compound at around 8.45am on April 25. Hambali played football with the other boys and they had used a smaller goal post- not the one that would later fall on him. When his classmate missed scoring a goal, Hambali went to the bigger goal post that was not in use at that time, and grabbed hold of the overhead crossbar – with tragic results.

The collapsed goal post was bought in 2014 and it had a back bar which could enhance its stability. But the back bar had corroded by April this year, the very month that it fell on Hambali. The back bar is an optional requirement and it is not compulsory for goal posts to have them, and audits had earlier been conducted in the school last year and this year that found the affected goal post as not a safety concern.

The school now has signs to remind students not to push, pull or hang from goal posts.

Diana Chan

A.S.S. Contributor

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