BUILDING & ENGINEERING | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Construction sector saw most fatalities and injuries in H1 2018

The manufacturing and the transport and storage sectors also pose workplace concerns with their fatality and injury records.

The construction sector saw a total of 8 fatal injuries and 64 major injuries which is the highest amongst all sectors in H1 2018. The sector’s record also rose compared to H1 2017 which saw only 2 fatal injuries and 51 major injuries, a joint report by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) council revealed.

“There was some progress in WSH performance for the first half of this year, but we still need to do better, especially in the construction sector and the prevention of falls,” director of policy, information, and corporate services department Christopher Koh commented.

Following the construction sector, the manufacturing sector recorded 4 fatal injuries and 51 major injuries in H1 2018 which is lower compared to the 5 fatal injuries and 65 major injuries recorded in the sector in H1 2017.

Meanwhile, the transport and storage sector saw 1 fatal injury in its field and 21 major injuries in H1 2018. Both figures are lower compared to 3 fatal injuries and 27 major injuries in H1 2017.

“I would like to remind employers and workers not to be complacent, and that rushing work without due care for safety can harm workers and hurt the bottom-line,” Koh added.

The report also found that falls topped the safety concern for employees as seven of the fatalities from H1 2018 were due to it.

Meanwhile, vehicular-related fatalities were reduced to four in H1 2018 from seven in H1 2017. Vehicular-related fatalities were the top cause of workplace fatalities annually since 2013 before H1 2018.

According to MOM, their agency conducted more than 2,600 inspections in H1 2018 to send a strong deterrent signal and to educate companies on workplace hazards. Amongst these, close to 1,500 inspections were carried out for the construction sector, with most of the remainder targeted at other sectors of higher injury risk such as manufacturing, and transport and storage.

Through the inspections, MOM uncovered more than 5,000 Workplace Safety and Health contraventions and 40 Stop-Work Orders (SWO) issued. Composition fines amounting to a total of $800,000 were imposed on 350 companies in H1.

According to MOM, most contraventions were situations that created fall risks such as failure to cover or guard openings and open sides at height, and failure to provide safe means of entry and exit from any area in the workplace.  

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