Singapore

Workplace deaths continue to drop, with 8 so far this year

This article is more than 12 months old

Figure in first 4 months lower on average than last year's 42 deaths

Eight workers have died in workplace accidents so far this year, as the push to halve the fatality rate by 2028 continues.

This averages two a month, compared with the 42 deaths last year, an average of 3.5 a month.

Last year's figure was the first time it had dipped below 50 in 13 years. From 2004 to 2016, workplace deaths ranged between 55 and 83.

Outgoing Minister of State for Manpower Sam Tan, who revealed the latest figure yesterday, reminded employers, workers, public agencies and other stakeholders that eliminating such accidents is their collective responsibility.

One incident this year occurred on March 1 when a 48-year-old Malaysian man died after falling from a platform 2.5m above the ground at the Lentor MRT station worksite.

Prevention is better than cure, Mr Tan said at a Foreign Workers' Carnival organised by the Singapore Contractors Association (Scal), The Straits Times reported.

For example, workers can report near-miss incidents to their employers using the Workplace Safety and Health Council's SnapSAFE mobile application, which will allow employers to put safety measures in place.

"This is a good way for companies to cultivate a culture of safety as everyone is encouraged to take ownership of safe practices," said Mr Tan, who will be leaving the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) for a new role at the Social and Family Development Ministry as part of the latest Cabinet reshuffle.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong last year set a target of fewer than one workplace fatality for every 100,000 workers before 2028.

It is roughly half the rate of 1.9 recorded in 2016, when there were 66 workplace deaths.

Mr Tan said MOM is also communicating to workers in their native languages to educate them on the steps they can take if they get injured, and the help available to them.

ADVICE

During yesterday's event, MOM officers offered advice to more than 2,000 construction workers about the Work Injury Compensation Act.

They were also polled for an internal MOM survey about their attitudes towards reporting injuries to their employers, and possible reasons they may be hesitant to do so.

Mr Tan said: "Our foreign workers come from far and wide to build world-class physical infrastructure in Singapore. It is only right that we provide a safe and healthy working environment for them."

The carnival, organised in conjunction with Labour Day tomorrow, was the first such event organised by Scal to show appreciation for foreign workers in the construction sector.

Employment