SINGAPORE: From this year, back injuries caused by ergonomic risks in the workplace will be reclassified from “minor injuries” to “work-related musculoskeletal disorders”.
The Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Council expects such disorders to become more widespread in future.
The reclassification would help provide a more accurate reflection of the situation.
This was one of several initiatives announced on Thursday by Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Manpower Hawazi Daipi at the Workplace Ergonomics Forum, held at SIM University.
Citing a 2011 report, Mr Hawazi said ergonomic problems are estimated to cost an economic loss of S$3.5 billion a year, or one per cent of gross domestic product.
The WSH Council will help employers manage and prevent such issues by raising awareness.
Besides the reclassification, the council will launch workplace and online resources to raise awareness on good ergonomic practices.
The council will also help fund companies that want to undergo ergonomic redesign in the workplace.
Mr Hawazi said: “We need everyone’s commitment to look into their workplaces and make adjustments to address workplace health risks to prevent injuries and ill health.
“An effective workplace health programme can reduce health risks and improve the quality of life for our workers. At the same time, maintaining a healthier workforce can positively impact productivity through lower absenteeism.”