More workplace injuries from slips, trips and falls
Workplace injuries caused by slips, trips and falls in the food and beverage (F&B) industry have risen by an average of 12 per cent a year in the four years before the pandemic.
And they have been the main driver of injuries in the sector, said Senior Minister of State for Manpower Zaqy Mohamad yesterday.
Overall, work injuries in the sector have also been rising at an average rate of 9 per cent a year from 2016 to 2019, down slightly last year, as many workplaces were forced to shut because of Covid-19.
Last year, there were 985 work injuries in the F&B sector. In 2019, there were 1,167 injuries in the sector and 932 in 2018.
These trends are becoming a concern and need to be addressed, Mr Zaqy said at a virtual forum for the F&B sector organised by the Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Council.
He said: "Good workplace safety and health make good business sense... No one wants to work in an accident-prone industry."
Across all sectors, major injuries caused by slips, trips and falls are on the rise.
In the first three months of this year, there were 61 major injuries caused by slips, trips and falls, up from 37 during the same period last year.
Slips, trips and falls are also the top cause of non-fatal work injuries, said Mr Zaqy. So, in conjunction with the forum, a new year-long slips, trips and falls campaign has been launched.
This year's campaign is the third such campaign in as many years.
It will target employers and workers in the F&B, logistics and transport and facilities management sectors.
It identifies four common hazardous areas in workplaces - slippery areas, slopes, uneven areas and cluttered areas.
The WSH Council aims to reach out to 14 associations across the three sectors comprising more than 6,000 companies. As part of the campaign, the authorities will also be organising "learning journeys" to companies in high-risk sectors, with the first to start in August.
These learning journeys encourage the sharing and learning of best practices across various industries.
Singapore Hotel Association president Kwee Wei-Lin, who chairs the WSH Council's hospitality and entertainment industries committee, said the F&B industry has been grappling with acute manpower constraints amid the pandemic.
"When made to work longer hours and complete more tasks, our F&B workers are more likely to experience fatigue. Their day-to-day struggle at work may take a toll on their health and increase the likelihood of injuries," she said.
One way to work around this is to adopt technology, Ms Kwee added.