Fewer workplace fatalities, injuries in first half of 2017: report

Fewer workplace fatalities, injuries in first half of 2017: report
A construction worker and a pedestrian walk past a temporary wall at a construction site. (PHOTO: Reuters)

There were fewer workplace fatalities and injuries in the first half of 2017 as compared with the same period in 2016, although the number of confirmed occupational disease cases has risen.

Nineteen workplace deaths occurred in the first half of this year, down from 24 over the same period in 2016, while number of workplace injuries fell from 6,245 in the first half of 2016 to 6,151 over the same period this year, according a press release by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and the Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Institute on Wednesday (2 August).

Meanwhile, there were 467 confirmed occupational disease cases in the first half of 2017, a rise from the 341 cases seen in the second half of 2016. The top three such diseases reported were noise induced deafness (NID), work-related musculoskeletal disorders and occupational skin diseases.

Highest injury numbers from manufacturing sector

In the first half of 2017, the manufacturing sector accounted for the highest number of fatalities and injuries with 1,242 injuries – both major and minor – and five deaths.

Vehicular-related incidents were the leading cause of fatal injuries, with seven deaths resulting from such incidents in the first half of 2017 – down from 12 over the same period last year.

Falls were the leading cause of major injuries over the first half of 2017, with the number of cases this year dipping to 111 from 117 over the same period in 2016.

Enforcement activities

Over the first half of 2017 the MOM conducted 2,800 workplace inspections, which led to 4,300 workplace safety and health violations being uncovered and 28 stop-work orders (SWOs) being issued.

The SWOs averaged a duration of four weeks, while $500,000 in fines were imposed on 190 companies during this period.

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