Singapore Reports Fewer Workplace Fatalities and Injuries in First Half 2017

The manufacturing sector was the top contributor to workplace fatalities (5 cases) followed by construction sector (2 cases). There were fewer workplace injuries in 1H 2017 (6,151) compared to 2H 2016 (6,769) and 1H 2016 (6,245). However, the number of confirmed Occupational Disease cases increased from 341 cases in 2H 2016 to 467 cases in 1H 2017.

The manufacturing sector accounted for the highest number (1,431 cases) of workplace injuries and occupational diseases. This was followed by the construction, accommodation and food service activities, and transportation and storage sectors. In total, these four sectors accounted for 54% of workplace injuries (3,300 out of 6,151) and 73% of the occupational diseases (340 out of 467) in 1H 2017.

Vehicular-related incidents and Falls continued to be the top causes of workplace fatalities. There were 7 fatalities from vehicular-related incidents in 1H 2017, down from 12 in 2H 2016. There were 4 fatalities from falls in 1H 2017, up from 3 in 2H 2016. The other causes of fatalities included fires/explosions, drowning, collapse of formwork, struck by falling objects, struck by moving objects (excluding vehicles), exposure to extreme temperatures and exposure to hazardous substances.

Falls was also the top cause of major injuries in 1H 2017 with 111 cases, or 41% of all major injuries, even though there was a reduction of 14% in the number of cases from 2H 2016.

The top three Occupational Diseases in 1H 2017 were Noise Induced Deafness (NID), Work-related Musculoskeletal Disorders and Occupational Skin Diseases. NID cases rose by 84% to 195 cases from the 106 cases in 2H 2016, accounting for 42% of Occupational Diseases in 1H 2017.

The number of cases of Occupational Skin Disease doubled, likely due to greater awareness of reporting requirements. MOM will continue outreach efforts to engage industries in managing their health hazards.

“While the number of fatalities had dropped compared to 1H 2016, we should continue to be vigilant,” says Executive Director of Workplace Safety & Health Institute, Dr Gan Siok Lin. “There is a need for added focus on vehicular safety given the higher incidence of fatality due to vehicular-related incidents. The increase in Occupational Disease cases also suggests that more effort is needed to manage health hazards in the workplace. I would like to remind employers and workers to focus on improving risk communication, supervision and work coordination as our analysis of fatal and major injuries had revealed these to be the main gaps.

Enforcement Operations

In 1H 2017, MOM conducted over 2,800 inspections. 400 of these inspections focused on workplace traffic management practices in warehouses, storage yards, factories and construction sites.

Another 400 targeted work at height activities in the construction, manufacturing, marine & transport and storage industries.

Arising from these inspections, 4,300 Workplace Safety and Health violations were uncovered and 28 Stop-Work Orders (SWO) issued. The average duration of SWOs issued was 4 weeks.

Composition fines amounting to a total of $500,000 were imposed on 190 companies during this period. The three top violations were work at height-related (25%), unsafe storage and improper housekeeping (25%) and poor machine safety (15%).

Upcoming Enforcement Operations

In 2H 2017, MOM’s inspections will target three areas: vehicular safety in the construction, logistics and transport sector; fall from heights, slips, trips and falls in the construction, marine and manufacturing sectors, and machinery safety in the construction and manufacturing sector.

 

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