Singapore

Workplace injuries fall by a quarter in first half of year

Workplace injuries fell by 25 per cent in the first half of this year, likely due to the suspension of selected workplace activities from April to June because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Workplace fatalities, however, saw just a slight improvement over the same period, with falls from height and vehicle-related incidents accounting for the most deaths.

The number of injuries at work between January and June this year was 4,996, compared with 6,630 in the same period last year.

There were 16 workplace deaths in the first six months of the year - close to the 17 fatalities in the first half of last year, but almost a third lower than the 22 deaths from last July to December.

These statistics were provided by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and the Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Council yesterday.

Major and minor injuries were mostly caused by slips, trips and falls, though the number of such cases fell on the whole from 1,862 in the first half of last year to 1,508 in the same period this year.

The manufacturing industry was the top contributor to non-fatal injuries, with 40 major injuries and 971 minor cases. It also had three workplace deaths.

Across all sectors, the second-most common cause of injuries was machinery-related, with 809 such cases in the first half of this year. There were 1,119 machinery-related cases from January to June last year.

The 12-month fatality rate for the industry also increased, from 3.1 per 100,000 workers as of end-December last year to 3.8 as of end-June this year.

MOM and the WSH Council said the transportation and storage industry accounted for the highest number of deaths at the workplace, with five cases in the first half of this year.

Overall, the leading cause of fatal injuries continued to be falls from height and vehicle-related incidents. These accounted for four and three deaths respectively in the first half of this year.

The construction industry, which ground to a near-complete halt in April during the circuit breaker period, saw three workplace deaths in the first six months of the year - half of the fatalities in the same period last year. All three deaths occurred in the first quarter.

The industry also saw 26 cases of major injuries in the first six months, compared with 61 cases in the same period last year.

There were four workplace incidents where many lives were at risk - classified as dangerous occurrences - from January to June. Two were fire and explosion cases, and two were crane-related incidents.

ACCIDENTS FIRE FLOOD