06 Apr 2023
1) Signs of improvement amid a difficult year but concerns remain
• There was an increase in workplace fatalities last year compared to 2021. In 2022, the workplace fatality rate per 100,000 workers was 1.3, as compared to 1.1 in 2021.
• To mitigate the spate of workplace fatalities in 2022, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) implemented the Heightened Safety Period (HSP) in September. During the HSP, the monthly average for fatalities dropped from 4.5 per month to 2.5 per month, translating to an annualised fatality rate of less than 1.0 per 100,000 workers for the period Sep-Dec 2022.
• Notwithstanding the above, major injuries remain an area of concern as the number of incidents increased towards the end of 2022.To address this, MOM extended the HSP till 31 May 2023, and convened the Multi-Agency Workplace Safety Taskforce (MAST) to identify and implement sectoral strategies to strengthen workplace safety.
• Overall, there was some improvement in the workplace safety landscape towards the later part of 2022, but continued vigilance is needed.
2) Highlights from WSH Statistics Report 2022
• Workplace fatalities abated with implementation of HSP
o There were 46 workplace fatalities last year compared to the 37 fatalities in 2021. This translated to a workplace fatality rate per 100,000 workers of 1.3 in 2022, higher than that of 1.1 in 2021.
o Following the roll out of HSP measures, the average monthly number of workplace fatalities fell from 4.5 between January and August 2022 to 2.5 between September and December 2022. The annualised workplace fatality rate per 100,000 workers reduced significantly from 1.5 to 0.8 for these respective periods.
• Top contributors continued to come from higher risk industries
o Construction, Transportation & Storage and Manufacturing were the top three sectoral contributors and accounted for about 65% of all workplace fatalities in 2022.
• Top cause continued to be Vehicular Incidents
o There were 15 fatal vehicular incidents in 2022, of which seven were work-related traffic accidents (WRTAs)1.
Workplace Major & Minor Injuries
• Overall decline in major and minor injury rate
o Taking into account the growing workforce and HSP measures, the major injuries rate per 100,000 workers only trended down slightly from 18.5 in 2021 to 17.3 in 2022. Similarly, minor injury rate also trended down from 653 in 2021 to 596 per 100,000 workers in 2022.
• Top contributors of non-fatal injuries remained to come from higher risk industries
o Construction, Manufacturing and Transportation & Storage accounted for 55% of major injuries in 2022.
o Construction & Manufacturing accounted for 36% of minor injuries in 2022
• Slips, Trips and Falls (STFs) remained the leading cause of non-fatal injuries
o STFs accounted for 33% of all major and 28% of all minor injuries in 2022.
o In 2022, there were 200 STF-related major injuries, slightly lower than the 208 in 2021.
• New classification for incident types of workplace injuries
o Workplace injuries were further analysed by incident types to better prioritise the key areas of concern for more targeted interventions and enforcement.
o Major injuries caused by Type A incidents (i.e., those with a higher risk of fatality such as falls from height and vehicular incidents) accounted for 35% of all major injuries in 2022 and has hovered around this figure in the last five years.
o Major injuries caused by Type B incidents (i.e., those with a lower risk of fatality such as slips, trips and falls, and machinery incidents) accounted for 65% of major injuries in 2022.
o Details on the fatality risk classification of common incident types and root causes by key industries can be found in the WSH National Statistic Report, 2022.
• Increase in Dangerous Occurrences from collapse/failure of structures and equipment
o The number of dangerous occurrences (DOs2) increased from 13 in 2021 to 27 in 2022.
o Amongst the 2022 DO cases, 20 involved Collapse/Failure of Structures & Equipment and 7 involved Fires & Explosion. The increase in 2022 was due to a rise in crane-related incidents.
o To mitigate this, MOM announced a new $4 million grant3 in January 2023 to co-fund the installation of stability control systems (SCS) on lorry cranes. More information can be found at go.gov.sg/scsgrant.
o Additionally, MOM is reviewing additional measures that would enhance crane operators’ competency and increase deterrence of unsafe crane-related operations.
• Occupational Diseases incidence rate rose due to heightened awareness
o The Occupational Diseases (ODs) incidence rate per 100,000 workers increased from 20.0 cases in 2021, to 29.7 in 2022.
o This increase was driven by the rise in reported Noise-Induced Deafness (NID) cases due to ongoing Enhanced Workplace Health Surveillance4 (WHS+) efforts, which heightened awareness of reporting amongst doctors and employers and expanded the surveillance footprint.
o MOM will continue to increase the number of workplaces under WHS+, as well as collaborate with the WSH Council to increase awareness and implementation of workplace health programmes.
Download the WSH Statistic Report and Infographics.
1. A work-related traffic accident is any unintended event that causes bodily injury to a vocational driver or rider while he or she is driving any vehicle on public roads in the course of work.
2. Incidents with a high potential for multiple fatalities.
3. The grant will fund 70% of qualifying costs, capped at $7,000 per lorry crane, and $20,000 per company. This grant is open to all sectors and businesses from March 2023 up to March 2025.
4. In 2021, MOM rolled out the Enhanced Workplace Health Surveillance (WHS+) under the national 10-year WSH 2028 strategy to minimise hazards that lead to occupational diseases, including NID. Under WHS+, companies with workers found to have higher exposures to toxic substances or noise are required to adopt upstream risk controls and put in place programmes (e.g. Hearing Conservation Programmes, Management of Hazardous Substances Programmes) that effectively reduce health risks. Companies also need to undergo third party audits to ensure their workplace health programmes are effective and submit an audit report to MOM.