WORKPLACE SAFETY EMPLOYEE WELL BEING
Singapore – There have been an increase in the number of workplace fatalities in Singapore even though fewer work-related injuries were reported in the first half of this year.
According to the latest Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) report, the first six months of this year saw 4,775 workplace injuries, an 8% drop from the 5,176 recorded in the same period in 2010.
However, there were 30 cases which led to deaths, an increase from last year’s 25. Of the 30 workplace fatalities, 13 were caused by falls from height. More than three quarters of the reported deaths were also from the marine, construction and manufacturing sectors.
Accidents at the workplace were also more commonly seen in sectors such as wholesale and retail trade, administrative and support-service activities and real estate, rental and leasing activities. The Straits Times (ST) reported that 42% of injuries took place at malls, schools and offices. These workplaces were included under the WSH Act this month.
According to the WSH Council and the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), there was also an increase in the number of workdays lost due to injury this year, from 255,088 last year to 271,449 this year.
Most of the workplace injuries were non-serious and only resulted in temporary disablement. Those who were affected were given at most three days medical leave or at least 24 hours hospitalisation.
While 48 of the injuries did result in permanent disablement, the figure was still lower than the 76 reported cases in 2010.
This year also saw the number of occupational-related diseases tripled from 124 last year to 361 this year. MOM found that deafness was the most common form of affliction, followed by skin diseases and musculoskeletal disorders.
MOM said it will be more stringent in its safety inspections over the next few months. The ministry and council will continue to educate employers and workers on the importance of workplace safety by offering training and awareness programmes.
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