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Construction deaths still on upward trend: Hawazi

"Urgent and serious action" needed as trend continues despite tougher enforcement efforts.

SINGAPORE: The construction sector saw 17 deaths in the first half of this year, up from 11 fatalities during the same period last year, said Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Manpower and Education Hawazi Daipi on Thursday (July 3).

The figure includes eight construction workers who lost their lives in January alone.

Speaking at the Construction Safety, Health and Security Campaign at the e2i (Employment and Employability Institute) organised by the Singapore Contractors Association, Mr Hawazi also noted that the number of incidents with major injuries for the first five months also jumped 15 per cent from the same period last year to 71.

“If the trend continues, I am afraid we may end the year with a higher fatality and major injury rate than in 2013,” said Mr Hawazi, adding that “urgent and serious action” need to be taken to improve the situation.

He added that construction deaths are not mere numbers. "There are many other impacts on the individuals. For the colleague, at least there is an emotional impact. It may last forever. But for the family, it is not just the emotional impact, it is financial impact, it is the leadership that is lost in the family. There is a father, husband, that is lost."

The Manpower Ministry has stepped up enforcement efforts since January, with more than 1,600 inspections covering close to 850 companies in the construction sector conducted to date.

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