Singapore Sees Rise in Workplace Injury Cases

In 2016, there were 66 workplace fatalities resulting in a fatal injury rate of 1.9 per 100,000 employed persons, similar to 2015, according to the Singapore Ministry of Manpower.

However, the number of workplace injury cases increased by 5.4%, from 12,351 cases in 2015 to 13,014 in 2016. Occupational disease cases decreased from 935 in 2015 to 732 in 2016.

The Construction sector remained the top contributor of workplace fatalities. However, the number of fatalities fell from 27 in 2015 to 24 in 2016.

The fatal injury rate also decreased to 4.9 per 100,000 employed persons, the lowest since 2007.

The Marine sector, however, saw an increase in fatalities, from 4 in 2015 to 6 in 2016. Fatalities in the Manufacturing sector also increased, with 9 in 2016, compared to 6 in 2015. The Transportation & Storage sector accounted for 11 fatalities, compared to 15 in 2015.

Among the 66 fatalities, Falls was the leading incident type with 19 (29%) fatalities, followed by Struck by Moving Objects with 13 (20%) fatalities, Caught in/between Objects with 8 (12%) fatalities, and Struck by Falling Objects with 6 (9%) fatalities.

Major and minor injuries

The number of workplace major injuries decreased slightly from 597 cases in 2015 to 594 cases in 2016. Workplace minor injuries however, increased by 5.7% from 11,688 cases in 2015, to 12,354 cases in 2016.

Crushing, Fractures and Dislocations were the leading types of injury, accounting for 55% of all workplace major injuries. The number of cases went up slightly from 323 in 2015 to 329 in 2016.

Amputations were the second leading injury type, with 143 workers suffering from complete loss of a member/part of a member of the injured person’s body in 2016. This is a 22% increase compared to the 117 cases in 2015.

Falls, Struck by Moving Objects and Caught in/between Objects accounted for 65% (387 cases) of all major injuries in 2016.

Slips, Trips and Falls remained the main area of concern for workplace minor injuries being 27% (3,315 cases) of all minor injuries in 2016.

Dangerous occurrences

The number of dangerous occurrences (DO) decreased slightly from 46 cases in 2015 to 45 cases in 2016. Construction sector was the top contributor of DO cases, accounting for 22 cases compared with 23 in 2015. This is almost half (49%) of all DOs in 2016.

Manufacturing sector was the second top contributor with 11 cases in 2016, down from 12 cases in 2015.

The top DO was Collapse/Failure of Structures and Equipment (60% of all DOs), of which 19 cases (42% of all DOs) were incidents related to crane such as collapse, failure of wire ropes and safety devices.

Occupational diseases
The number of occupational diseases (OD) cases decreased from 935 cases in 2015, to 732 this year.

Similar to 2015, the leading OD was Noise-Induced Deafness (NID) (322 cases), followed by Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders (316 cases). Together they made up 87% of all OD cases.

The drop in the number of OD cases was due to a drop in NID cases from the Construction, Marine, and Manufacturing sectors.

Concern over increase in workplace injury cases in 2016

“Besides looking at fatal injuries, there is a need to pay closer attention to major injuries which cause much suffering to the injured worker and also his family,” says Executive Director of the Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Institute, Dr Gan Siok Lin.

Injured workers who are on longer medical leave and have some loss in function are more likely not to return to the workforce.

“I therefore strongly urge the industry to review their risk assessments, to ensure that all workplace hazards are identified and the control measures are communicated to workers so that they are not harmed by their work and can return home safe to their families. This will also help to raise morale and productivity when workers know their employers care."


Suggested Articles

Some of you might have already been aware of the news that Questex—with the aim to focus on event business—will shut down permanently all media brands in Asia…

Some advice for transitioning into an advisory role

Global risks are intensifying but the collective will to tackle them appears to be lacking. Check out this report for areas of concern