SINGAPORE: Forty-one people suffered fatal injuries while at work in 2018, while the overall number of workplace injuries rose last year, according to the Ministry of Manpower's (MOM) Workplace Safety and Health Report released on Thursday (Feb 21).
A workplace injury is a personal injury or death resulting from a workplace accident, and includes work-related traffic injuries.
Last year, 41 people died after getting injured in the workplace. That is one lower than the previous year, the report said.
The overall number of workplace injuries rose from 12,498 cases in 2017 to 12,810 cases in 2018, an increase of about 2.5 per cent.
Both major and minor workplace injury cases increased last year, with 596 workers sustaining major injuries, compared to 574 cases the previous year. Workplace minor injuries also saw an increase in 2018, from 11,882 the year before to 12,173 cases.
Minister of State for Manpower Zaqy Mohamad said the rise in workplace injuries was a "cause for concern".
MOST DEATHS IN CONSTRUCTION
The overall workplace injury rate - which takes into account the total number of fatal and non-fatal workplace injuries divided by the total number of employed people - rose from 369 per 100,000 employed persons in 2017 to 373 per 100,000 employed persons in 2018.
Falls from height, slips, trips and falls, and vehicular-related incidents remained the top causes of fatal injuries in 2018, although the number of vehicular-related fatal incidents halved in 2018 compared to 2017.
Construction remained the industry with the highest number of fatalities.
Falls from height overtook vehicular-related incidents as the leading cause of fatal injuries in 2018, with the latter seeing a halving of cases last year.
Authorities in a press release cited the "pronounced increase" in major injuries from slips, trips, and falls - seen across a variety of industries, including traditionally low-risk ones - as an area of concern.
As for occupational diseases, these decreased by 30 per cent last year compared to the year before.
Work-related musculoskeletal disorders, noise-induced deafness and occupational skin diseases have remained the top three occupational diseases since 2016, and MOM said it would continue to focus prevention efforts in these areas.
Last year saw a number of workplace injury cases make the news, including that of a 48-year-old construction worker who died after falling from a raised platform at the Lentor MRT station worksite.
Similarly, a foreign worker died after he fell from a building at a Housing and Development Board worksite along Canberra Street.
An SMRT employee was injured while carrying out maintence work near Joo Koon MRT station last December. The employee suffered foot injuries and was taken to hospital.