SINGAPORE — More needs to be done to improve workplace safety, with the number of minor injuries at work increasing by about 10 per cent each year for the last two years and fatal injuries remaining at 2.1 per every 100,000 employed people last year, the same rate as 2012.
The latest Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Statistics Report released yesterday showed a rising trend in minor injuries for the last three years — from 9,504 in 2011 to 10,469 in 2012 and 11,467 last year.
The three sectors that are traditionally high-risk — construction, marine and manufacturing — contributed to 71 per cent of workplace fatalities. The construction sector was a cause for concern, with an increased fatality rate from 5.9 per 100,000 employed people in 2012 to 7 per 100,000 employed people last year.
The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said yesterday it remained concerned about the growing trend of WSH accidents. “To ensure that the situation does not escalate, the MOM will be stepping up enforcement efforts in construction worksites,” said Mr Ho Siong Hin, MOM Commissioner for WSH.
To boost safety in the workplace, videos, guidebooks and training courses will be rolled out, focusing on three areas: Work at heights, crane safety and formwork safety. These areas were the cause of many workplace fatalities last year, said Mr Hawazi Daipi, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Education and Manpower, yesterday.
“These accidents could have been prevented through proper management of workplace hazards. Hence, we need to intensify our efforts to improve standards in working at heights, crane and formwork activities,” added Mr Hawazi, who was speaking at the WSH Council’s annual Programme-based Engagement Plus Forum on workplace safety at the Raffles City Convention Centre.
The council will be launching two awareness videos to highlight important concepts such as key regulatory requirements and the types of activities that constitute work at height.
Two guidebooks have also been revised to help the industry better understand issues such as the implementation of key requirements when conducting lifting operations. To enhance supervisors’ skills, the existing formwork safety course in key areas, such as safe work practices for formwork installation, will be strengthened.
Stressing the need to stem the increasing number of fatal accidents at the workplace, Mr Hawazi said: “One life lost is one too many … With concerted efforts from all stakeholders, we can create a safer workplace for everyone.”