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More fatalities but fewer non-fatal injuries at work in 2015

The number of workplace fatalities increased from 60 in 2014 to 66 in 2015. Correspondingly, the workplace fatality rate increased from 1.8 per 100,000 employed person in 2014 to 1.9 in 2015. However, the number of non-fatal injuries and occupational diseases (OD) at work declined slightly from 2014. There were 12,285 major and minor injuries in 2015, down from 13,535 in 2014. The number of OD cases also declined from 992 cases in 2014 to 935 cases in 2015. Falls accounted for 23 cases (35%) of all fatalities in 2015, up from 14 cases in 2014.

Table 1: Number of workplace injuries and occupational diseases

2015
2014
Overall Workplace Injuries 12,351 (364) 13,595 (405)
Fatal Injuries 66 (1.9) 60 (1.8)
Major Injuries 597 (17.6) 672 (20.0)
Minor Injuries 11,688 (344) 12,863 (383)
Occupational Diseases (OD) 935 (27.5) 992 (29.5)
Note: Figures in parenthesis refer to the workplace injury rate and occupational disease incidence rate per 100,000 employed persons. 

 

Overview of fatal injuries

2    Construction, Marine and Manufacturing sector accounted for 56% of workplace fatalities, compared to 62% in 2014. Other key findings include:
•    Construction sector remained the top contributor with 27 cases, or 41% of all workplace fatalities;
•    Transportation and Storage sector was the second highest contributor with 15 fatalities, an increase from 12 in 2014 (Table 2); and
•    Falls remained the leading incident type with 23 cases, followed by Struck by Moving Objects and Work-related Traffic accidents with 10 cases each (Table 3).

Table 2: Number of workplace fatal injuries by industry

Industry 2015
2014
Construction 27 27
Marine 4 4
Manufacturing 6 6
Transporation & Storage 15 12

Table 3: Number of workplace fatal injuries by top 3 incident types

Incident Type 2015
2014
Falls 23 14
Struck by Moving Objects 10 8
Work-related Traffic 10 6

 

Overview of major and minor injuries

3    Workplace major injuries dropped by 11% from 672 cases in 2014 to 597 in 2015, while minor injuries dropped by 9.1% from 12,863 cases in 2014 to 11,688 in 2015. 

Key findings for major injuries
•    Construction, Marine and Manufacturing sectors accounted for 53% (315 cases) of workplace major injuries, compared to 55% in 2014. 157 of these cases were contributed by the Construction sector;
•    Marine sector saw an increase to 32 cases in 2015, up from 29 cases in 2014;
•    Accommodation & Food Service Activities sector went up by 70% from 27 cases in 2014 to 46 cases in 2015; and
•    Falls (Falls from Heights, and Slips, Trips and Falls) was the top incident type for major injuries with 255 cases (43%) out of all major injuries.

Key findings for minor injuries
•    Construction, Marine and Manufacturing sectors accounted for 43% of minor injuries, compared to 47% in 2014;
•    Manufacturing sector remained the top contributor of minor injuries with 2,556 cases in 2015, down from 2,922 cases in 2014;
•    Construction also saw a decrease in minor injuries from 2,686 cases in 2014 to 2,076 in 2015; and
•    Slips, Trips and Falls was the top incident type for minor injuries with 2,863 cases (24%) out of all minor injuries.

Overview of occupational diseases

4    Main highlights from OD statistics are:
•    Number of OD cases dropped by 5.7% from 992 cases in 2014 to 935 in 2015;
•    Noise-induced deafness (NID) remained the leading contributor with 498 cases (53%) of all OD cases; and
•    Occupational skin diseases saw an increase of 65% from 54 cases in 2014 to 89 in 2015 due to an outbreak of skin rashes at a construction site.

Overview of dangerous occurrences

5    The WSH Statistics Report 2015 has included a new section on dangerous occurrences (DO). Key highlights from DO cases are:
•    Number of DO cases increased from 27 in 2014 to 46 in 2015;
•    Construction was the top contributor of DO cases, accounting for 50% of all DOs; and
•    Number of DO cases involving cranes increased by 83% from 12 in 2014 to 22 in 2015.

Rising concern over the growing number of fatalities in 2015 and 2016

6    Executive Director of the Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Institute, Dr Gan Siok Lin said, “We were unable to sustain the 2014 momentum of 1.8 per 100,000 employed persons. We saw more fatalities in the second half of 2015 and this trend continued, with nine fatalities in January 2016 alone. We are particularly concerned about the increase in number of fatalities and dangerous occurrences in 2015. I urge companies to check your existing work practices regularly and to systematically build capability in recognising WSH risks at all levels of the organisation. Recognition of risks is critical as it is the trigger for further action to control risks. If done well, it would result in safer and healthier workplaces.”

7    The full WSH Statistics Report is available on WSH Institute website at www.wsh-institute.sg

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