Bakery boss killed after being pulled into industrial cooking mixer

SINGAPORE: A bakery owner who died in a workplace accident was operating an industrial gas-heated cooking mixer to prepare bean paste when he was caught by the rotating mixer arm and pulled into the machine.

The Ministry of Manpower told The Straits Times on Tuesday that Ng Sew Kuang, 73, was extricated and pronounced dead at the scene.

It added: “The ministry has stopped all manufacturing works and is currently investigating the incident.”

Family members at the wake for Ng, held near the bakery at Block 17 Bedok South Road, declined to speak to reporters.

The shop, Ng Kian Seng Confectionery, is more than 70 years old and was started by Ng’s paternal grandfather. It is known for its traditional goodies, such as tau sar piah and wife cakes.

A bakery worker had said on Monday that no one had been around Ng when the accident occurred and staff were alerted that something was wrong only by a burning smell coming from the machine.

Industrial bakers told The Straits Times there can be multiple hazards in the kitchen.

Anna Tan, 60, the owner of bakery 51 fiveone degrees, said the metal covering of her flour-kneading machine must be put on top of the mixing bowl to prevent the baker’s hands from being trapped inside and damaged by the beater.

Henry Ng, 38, chef and owner of Bread & Hearth, said that one has to be aware of and mitigate against specific potential hazards.

He added that no one should work alone in the pantry and everyone must always don proper protective equipment.

With a past career focusing on safety, including as a combat technician with the Republic of Singapore Navy, Henry said: “I learnt that safety should be part of our DNA.”

He said safety should not be enforced through penalties but inculcated during work induction programmes. — The Straits Times/Asia News Network