Malaysia recorded a higher rate of occupational injuries in 2022, versus 2021

Malaysia recorded a higher rate of occupational injuries in 2022, versus 2021

Across the country, Johor recorded the highest rate of occupational injuries per 1,000 workers, followed by Kuala Lumpur, Pulau Pinang, and Perak.

Malaysia saw a double-digit growth (58.9%) in the number of occupational injuries in 2022, recording 34,216 cases in total — up from 21,534 recorded in 2021.

This is according to the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM)'s National Occupational Accident and Disease Statistics 2022 report, which covers non-fatal occupational injuries, fatal occupational injuries, and occupational diseases & poisoning by type of accidents, injuries, cause of the accident, industry, and state for the year.

The statistics were derived from data provided by the Department of Occupational Safety and Health, Social Security Organisation, Ministry of Finance, and Royal Malaysia Police.

Quoting the report findings, Chief Statistician of Malaysia, Dato' Sri Dr. Mohd Uzir Mahidin, shared that the rate of occupational injuries per 1,000 workers in 2022 rose to 2.22 last year, up from 1.43 in 2021. 

Meanwhile, the number of cases of non-fatal occupational injuries stood at 33,899, a "notable increase" of 59.7% when compared to the preceding year (2021: 21,233) — thus resulting in an increased rate of non-fatal occupational injuries per 1,000 workers (2.20 in 2022, vs 1.41 in 2021).

In terms of fatal occupational injuries, a total of 317 such cases were recorded in 2022, a year-on-year increase of 16. This, DOSM stated, led to a higher rate of fatal occupational injuries per 100,000 workers, recording 2.06 (2021: 2.00).

Occupational injuries & fatal occupational injuries by demographic

The report delved into the injuries incurred by demographic of the people involved.


According to the findings, occupational injuries were more common among male workers, which the report attributed to this group being more likely to be engaged in an occupation that has a higher likelihood of accidents due to the nature of the work.

Further analysis on the distribution of cases by gender revealed that more than two-thirds of the cases were identified as male workers (84.2%) as opposed to 15.8% of female workers.

When it came to fatal occupational injuries, 98.1% of the cases 311) involved male workers, while 1.9% (6 cases) involved female workers.


From the perspective of occupational injuries by nationality, the data was broken down as follows:

  • Occupational injuries: Most cases (88.6% or 30,325) involved Malaysians, while 11.4% (3,891) involved non-Malaysians. 
  • Fatal occupational injuries: 67.2% of cases (213) involved Malaysians, while 32.8% (104) involved non-Malaysians.

Age group

Looking at the data by age group, the following statistics were noted:

  • The highest rate(s) of occupational injuries per 1,000 workers was seen in the age groups of 55-59 and 60-64, recording 2.46, respectively.
  • This was followed by the age group of 50-54 (2.42); and 45-49, 40-44, and 20-24 (2.32, respectively).
  • As for the other age groups, the rates were as follow:
    • 35-39: 2.11
    • 25-29 & 30-34: 2.04, respectively
    • 15-19: 1.03

In total, the national average rate of occupational injuries noted by age group was 2.22.

Occupational injuries & fatal injuries by state

Tackling the data by state and territory, the report revealed that all states and territories posted year-on-year increases in occupational injuries in 2022, excerpt for Perlis, with Selangor seeing the largest rise (+2,368 cases).

Across the country, Johor recorded the highest rate of occupational injuries per 1,000 workers (3.59, or 6,528 cases); followed by Kuala Lumpur (3.53, or 3,157 cases), Pulau Pinang (3.35, or 2,925 cases), and Perak (3.24, or 3,456 cases). 

The data for the remaining states and territory is as showcased:

  • Negeri Sembilan: 3.13, or 1,484 cases
  • Melaka: 3.07, or 1,376 cases
  • Pahang: 2.41, or 1,727 cases
  • Kedah: 2.31, or 2,233 cases
  • Selangor: 1.82, or 6,563 cases
  • Sarawak: 1.67, or 2,191 cases
  • Terengganu: 1.53, or 735 cases
  • Perlis: 1.47, or 161 cases
  • Labuan: 1.00, or 45 cases
  • Kelantan: 0.93, or 665 cases
  • Sabah: 0.52, or 970 cases

Looking at fatal occupational injuries, on the other hand, the highest rate was recorded in Kuala Lumpur (3.69, or 33 cases); followed by Perak (3.56, or 38 cases), Pahang (3.35, or 24 cases), and Johor (2.91, or 53).

The data for the remaining states and territory is as showcased:

  • Sarawak: 2.59, or 34 cases
  • Terengganu: 2.08, or 10 cases
  • Pulau Pinang: 3.35, or 2,925 cases
  • Negeri Sembilan: 1.90, or 9 cases
  • Perlis: 1.83, or 2 cases
  • Kelantan: 1.68, or 12 cases
  • Selangor: 1.58, or 57 cases
  • Melaka: 1.34, or 6 cases
  • Sabah: 0.80, or 15 cases
  • Kedah: 0.62, or 6 cases
  • Labuan: 0.00, or 0 cases

Data in sectors covered by the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) 1994

Apart from the above, the report looked at the occurences of occupational injuries in the 10 sectors covered by the OSHA, which outlines regulations to protect workers from hazards on the job.

Among all, the services sector recorded the highest number of occupational injuries in the year (10,403), followed by manufacturing (9.906) and construction (4,324); while the lowest number of cases was recorded in mining & quarrying (140).

Overall, the majority of occupational injuries posted an upward trend in all the sectors except for transport, storage & communication and mining & quarrying. On the contrary, the construction sector has consistently ranked high in terms of fatal occupational injuries, registering 72 cases (2021: 73), with the report citing risks related to falls, machinery accidents, and other hazards. This was followed by services (65) and manufacturing (62).

Refer to DOSM's update for the full findings which cover types of accidents, locations of the injuries, and more.

Commenting on the statistics, Dr. Mohd Uzir Mahidin said: "The situation of occupational injuries statistics worldwide demonstrated ongoing challenges in workplace safety. Many countries have implemented safety regulations and initiatives to reduce workplace accidents including safety training, inspections and penalties for non-compliance."

Photo: DOSM

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