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Fewer workplace fatalities and injuries in first half of 2015

In the first half of 2015, the number of workplace fatalities and injuries declined by 15% and 9.3% respectively, compared to the same period in 2014. According to the latest Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Statistics Report released by the WSH Institute, there were 29 fatalities and 5,950 injuries in the first half of 2015, while the same period last year saw 34 fatalities and 6,563 injuries. There was, however, a slight increase in occupational diseases, from 428 cases in the first half of 2014 to 438 cases in the same period this year.

Table 1: Number of workplace injuries and occupational diseases, 2014 and 2015

As at end of June 2014
2015p 2014
Workplace Injuries 5,979 6,597 13,595
Fatal Injuries 29 34 60
Major Injuries 292 308 672
Minor Injuries 5,658 6,255 12,863
Occupational Diseases (OD) 438 428 992
2015p: 2015 figures are preliminary

Overview of workplace fatal injuries

2). Three traditionally higher risk sectors1 accounted for 48% of workplace fatalities. Other key findings include:

  • Construction sector saw a decrease in the number of fatalities, from 17 in the first half of 2014 to 10 this year. The sector remained the highest contributor of workplace fatalities;
  • The Transportation & Storage sector saw a slight increase in fatalities, from 8 in the first half of 2014 to 9 this year; and
  • Work-related traffic was the leading incident type with eight fatalities, followed by Falls from Heights with seven fatalities and Struck by Moving Objects with five fatalities.

(1) - The three traditionally higher risk sectors are Construction, Marine and Manufacturing.


Table 2: Number of workplace fatal injuries by industry, 2014 and 2015

Industry As at end of June 2014
2015p 2014
All Sectors 29 34 60
Construction 10 17 27
Marine 2 3 4
Manufacturing 2 2 6
Transportation & Storage 9 8 12
2015p: 2015 figures are preliminary

Overview of major and minor injuries

3). The number of workplace major injuries fell 5.2% to 292 cases in the first half of 2015, down from 308 cases in 2014. Similarly, the number of workplace minor injuries declined by 10% from 6,255 cases in first half of 2014 to 5,658 cases in the same period this year.

Key findings for major injuries

  • Three traditionally higher risk sectors accounted for 54% (159 cases) of major injuries in the first half of 2015, but saw a reduction from 169 cases in the same period last year;
  • Construction sector remained the highest contributor with 88 cases in the first half of 2015, compared to 92 cases last year;
  • Non-traditional sectors such as Real Estate Activities, Water Supply, Sewerage, Waste Management and Remediation Activities, and Administrative & Support Service Activities also saw a reduction; and
  • Falls (Falls from Heights, Slips, Trips and Falls) was the leading incident type for major injuries with 127 cases (43%), followed by Caught in/between Objects with 35 cases (12%); and Struck by Falling Objects with 28 cases (9.6%).

Key findings for minor injuries

  • Three traditionally higher risk sectors accounted for 43% (2,427 cases) of minor injuries;
  • Manufacturing sector remained the top contributor with 1,208 cases in the first half of 2015 compared to 1,411 cases in the same period last year;
  • While there was an overall drop in the number of minor injuries, non-traditional sectors such as Accommodation & Food Service Activities, Financial & Insurance Activities, Legal, Accounting & Management Activities, and Health Activities saw an increase; and
  • Slips, Trips and Falls was the top incident type for minor injuries with 1,350 cases (24%).

Overview of occupational diseases

4). Though the number of occupational diseases (OD) cases increased by 2.3%, the OD incidence rate dipped slightly to 13.0 per 100,000 employed persons in the first half of 2015, from 13.2 in the same period last year. Other main highlights from OD statistics are:

  • Manufacturing sector recorded the highest number of OD cases, accounting for 31% of all cases;
  • Noise-induced deafness was the leading OD with 267 cases (61%); and
  • Work-related musculoskeletal disorders was the second leading OD, with 134 cases (31%).

Progress has been made but there is room to further improve

5). Commenting on the report, Dr Gan Siok Lin, Executive Director of the WSH Institute, said, “The better WSH performance in the first six months is a reflection of the joint efforts put in by the Government and industry. The industry can tap on the report to identify key areas for further improvement and implement measures to mitigate risks at the workplace. We must remain vigilant and continue to make these improvements, and believe that every injury and ill-health at work is preventable.”

6). MOM’s Commissioner for WSH, Er. Ho Siong Hin said, “We have made progress in improving workplace safety and health. Even so, employers must continue to take preventive measures to address WSH issues and focus on finding solutions to protect the workers and employees. We are particularly concerned about the spike in work-related traffic fatalities. There were 8 fatalities between January and June 2015, compared to 6 fatalities for the whole of 2014. Employers of vocational drivers must play an active role to ensure that their drivers are competent, obey traffic rules and have adequate rest.”

7). The full Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Statistics Report is available on WSH Institute website (www.wsh-institute.sg).

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