Fewer workplace deaths and injuries in first half of 2015: WSH Institute

The construction sector still saw the highest number of workplace deaths with 10 in the first of this year.
The construction sector still saw the highest number of workplace deaths with 10 in the first of this year.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - There were 29 deaths and 5,950 injuries at work in the first half of the year, an improvement from the same period last year.

Preliminary statistics released on Thursday by the Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Institute show that the number of workplace deaths and injuries fell by 15 per cent and 9.3 per cent respectively.

However, there were more cases of occupational diseases, with the number rising to 438 cases in the first six months of the year, 10 more than the same period last year. Noise-induced deafness was the biggest culprit, with 267 cases in the first half of the year.

The number of traffic fatalities increased from six for the whole of 2014 to eight between January to June this year.

While the construction sector still saw the highest number of workplace deaths with 10 in the first of this year, there were seven less deaths compared to the same period last year.

Nearly half of the 29 workplace deaths were in the construction, marine and manufacturing industries, traditionally regarded as higher risk sectors.

Falls from height as well as slips, trips and falls caused the most major injuries with 127 cases, with slips, trips and falls also leading the incident count for minor injuries with 1,350 cases.

WSH Institute executive director Gan Siok Lin said in a statement that joint efforts put in by the Government and industry had helped improve the WSH performance.

But the Ministry of Manpower's Commissioner for WSH Ho Siong Hin said that the spike in work-related traffic fatalities was of "particular concern".

"Employers of vocational drivers must play an active role to ensure that their drivers are competent, obey traffic rules and have adequate rest," he said.