31 Mar 2022
1) 2021 Workplace safety performance comparable To Pre-COVID Levels1
• Workplace fatalities decreased from 39 in 2019 to 37 in 2021, translating to a workplace fatality rate of 1.1 per 100,000 workers in both years.
• Major injuries declined slightly from 629 in 2019 to 610 in 2021, but the rate increased from 18.1 in 2019 to 18.5 in 2021 due to the smaller workforce in 2021 than in 2019.
• Under the new Work Injury Compensation Act (WICA), employers now need to report all work injuries leading to any instance of medical leave or light duties.
• With this change, there was a total of 21,539 minor injuries in 2021. The minor injury rate was 653 per 100,000 workers in 2021. Among them, 12,119 were injuries resulting in four or more days of medical leave, which was the previous basis for injury reporting. The minor injury rate, adjusted to 2019 basis2, was 368 per 100,000 workers in 2021 ─ a slight decrease from 376 in 2019.
1Most of the data comparisons were made with 2019 (pre-COVID) as 2020 figures reflected one-off effects due to reduced business activities and work stoppages arising from COVID-19.
2 I.e. when only injuries with four or more days of medical leave were included.
2) Manufacturing, Construction and Transportation & Storage industries continued to see most fatal and major injuries
• Construction sector remained the top contributor for fatal injuries with 13 fatalities, followed by Transportation & Storage industry with nine fatalities and Manufacturing sector with four fatalities. In 2021, these top three industries saw comparable numbers with 2019.
• Construction and Manufacturing jointly accounted for 44% of all major injuries in 2021.
3) Slips, Trips & Falls (STF) remained the top cause for major injuries
• More than one in three (34%) major injuries that occurred in 2021 involved STFs.
• This was followed by Machinery incidents and Falls from Height, each contributing about 10% of the total of major injuries in 2021.
4) Upcoming Plans to engender safer workplaces
• Preventing Slips, Trips and Falls (STFs) and enhancing enforcement on STF hazards
o MOM encourages industries to adopt tech-enabled solutions such as slip meters, use of artificial intelligence (AI) wearables and video analytics to detect and reduce STF accidents.
o MOM will also step up inspections on companies that are more prone to STF hazards, with inspections focusing on checking the adequacy of risk assessment and safety procedures.
• Strengthening safe use of machinery
o MOM will focus on enhancing the safe use of machinery, particularly in the manufacturing industry. This will be done through stronger enforcement actions, including heavier fines against offending companies and individuals.
• Enhancing training for incoming workers
o MOM and the WSH Council have expanded the construction safety orientation course with some training providers, enabling workers to undergo experiential training via a construction site simulator with physical mock-ups. Experiential training for construction safety orientation courses will be made mandatory in 2H2022.