Number of workplace deaths falls to 7-year low, but injuries up
More workers were injured on the job in the first half of this year.
A total of 6,561 workplace injuries were recorded between January and June, an increase from 6,073 in the same period last year.
But the number of workplace deaths fell to a seven-year low. Seventeen workers died on the job from January to June, down from 18 in the same period last year and 23 in the second half.
"This was the lowest absolute number of workplace fatalities since 2012, when fatality data for all workplaces was tracked," said the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and the Workplace Safety and Health Council yesterday when they released the half-year workplace safety statistics.
Six of the 17 deaths took place at construction sites, while two occurred in the manufacturing sector.
The top causes of death were falls from heights, traffic accidents and the collapse or failure of structures and equipment. Four workers died in falls from heights and four died in traffic accidents. Three died from the collapse or failure of structures and equipment.
The top cause of injuries, both major and minor, was from falling, slipping and tripping at work.
These resulted in 87 major injuries, such as fractures, in the first half of this year, down from 111 in the same period last year. There were 1,757 minor injuries, such as bruises and sprains, a rise from 1,630 in the year-ago period.
The second most common cause of injuries involved machinery.
The workplace became less hazardous in another area - the number of occupational diseases fell to 263 in the first half, from 295 between January and June last year. Work-related musculoskeletal disorders, noise-induced deafness and occupational skin diseases were the top three occupational diseases.
"It is encouraging that the first half of 2019 recorded the lowest half-yearly number of fatalities. However, we cannot be complacent, as non-fatal injuries continue to rise, including in industries that were previously less accident-prone," said Mr Christopher Koh, MOM's director of policy, information and corporate services.