Top causes of workplace fatalities in Singapore in H1 2022: MOM's review – Human Resources Online

September 21, 2022

Singapore recorded a total of 28 workplace fatalities in the first half of 2022 (H1 2022), bringing the nation’s six-month fatality rate per 100,000 workers to 0.8.
This, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) shared on Friday (16 September 2022), is higher than in the same period last year (H1 2021: 0.7) and in the previous quarter (H2 2021: 0.4).
As a whole, the total number of workplace injuries reported — which include fatalities, major injuries, and minor injuries, stood at 10,429, 7.5% lower year on year (H1 2021: 11,271) and 4.5% lower quarter on quarter (H2 2021: 10,915).
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There were 28 workplace fatalities recorded in H1 2022, higher than 14 in the previous quarter, 23 in H1 2021, and 17 in H1 2019. Among the 28 fatalities, four were work-related traffic accidents, which were equivalent to the number recorded in the same period last year, but higher than periods in H2 2021 (2) and H1 2019 (1).
According to MOM, the top two causes of workplace fatalities in H1 2022 were vehicular incidents and fall from heights, of which there were seven each, making up 50% of the total fatalities recorded. 
Sector/industry wise, construction remained the top contributor to fatal workplace injuries in the six months, with 10 deaths due to workplace accidents. Additionally, all four traditionally higher-risk sectors/industries (construction, transportation & storage, manufacturing, and marine) each saw more fatal injuries in H1 this year, compared to the preceding six months (H2 2021).
Collectively, these four sectors/industries contributed to 82% of all fatal injuries in H1 2022.
Top causes of major workplace injuries in Singapore in H1 2022 
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Next, the total number of major workplace injuries recorded in the first half of this year was 297, which MOM noted was comparable to the preceding six months (H2 2021: 294), but lower than the same period in both the pre- and post- COVID years – H1 2019 (319) and H1 2021 (316).
Further, the six-month fatal injury rate declined to 8.7 per 100,000 workers in H1 2022.
Looking at the sectors/industries which contributed the most such injuries, construction was once again the biggest contributor, with 84 major injuries recorded; followed manufacturing, which recorded 60 major injuries. These two sectors collectively accounted for 48% (144 injuries) of major injuries in H1 2022.
As for the top causes of these injuries, those that accounted for 57% of the major workplace injuries (170) were:
Top causes of minor workplace injuries in Singapore in H1 2022 
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Effective 1 September 2020, employers are required to report all work injuries with any instance of medical leave or light duties. Numbers presented under this new series are marked with [N].
In line with this, the overall number of minor workplace injuries recorded in the period of January to June this year stood at 10,104, 4.7% lower compared to the 10,607 minor injuries recorded in H2 2021.
Comparing the based on the former series – wherein employers were required to report all work injuries with four or more days of medical leave, or at least 24 hours of hospitalisation, a total of 5,721 workplace injuries were recorded in H1 this year, a 4.2% decrease from that reported in H2 2021 (5,972).
Coming to the causes of these injuries, under the new series [N], in H1 2022, the leading contributor of minor injuries was the manufacturing sector which recorded 1,939 minor injuries.
This was followed by construction with 1,654 minor injuries, and accommodation & food services with 1,250 minor injuries. These top three contributing industries collectively accounted for 48% (4,843 injuries) of minor injuries in H1 2022, recording similar trends as the former series.
Delving deeper into the data, slips, trips & falls emerged as the top causes of minor workplace injuries from January to June this year, followed by machinery Incidents, and being struck by moving objects, which collectively accounted for 53% (5,315) of all minor injuries.
Number of dangerous occurrences increased in Singapore in H1 2022
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Per the report, a total of 13 cases of dangerous occurrences (DOs) were reported to MOM in H1 2022, equivalent to the number of DOs for the entire year of 2021 (13). Amongst the DO cases, nine cases were from collapse/failure of structures & equipment, and four were from fires & explosions.
According to MOM, the construction sector was the top contributor accounting for seven of the 13 cases in 1H 2022, while the remaining cases occurred in manufacturing (5 cases) and transportation & storage (1 case).
Commenting on the findings, Minister of State for Manpower Zaqy Mohamad said: “The numbers in this report are not just statistics – they are lives lost and workers injured. Workplace safety and health must be taken seriously, and I hope that the alarming numbers and trends will serve as a wake-up call to employers, supervisors, and workers who have not taken heed.
“MOM, the Workplace Safety and Health Council, and our partners stand ready to support those who need help in improving safety standards. We need all stakeholders to be on the same page, and place strong emphasis on safety,” he urged.
The above data was reported in MOM’s latest 1H 2022 National Workplace Safety and Health Report released on 16 September. Read the full report for details on occupational diseases, and more trends.
ALSO READ: MOM instructs Singapore employers to conduct Safety Time-Out amidst increased workplace fatalities
Image / Minister of State for Manpower Zaqy Mohamad’s Facebook
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