Singapore’s workplace injury rate fell to its lowest since 2004, after dropping to 1.2 injuries per 100,000 employed persons in the previous year, according to government data.
The figures from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and the Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Institute showed that the numbers allowed the city-state to achieve its safety goal by 2018, which involves less than 1.8 injuries per 100,000 workers.
Josephine Teo, Second Minister for Manpower and Home Affairs, described the 13-year low figure as a “meaningful improvement.” Despite the 42 deaths that occurred in 2017, it showed that companies and their employees have complied with a “Vision Zero mindset,” Teo said.
This concept requires both employers and workers to treat all injuries and diseases as avoidable cases. It includes fostering a culture of safety within the workplace, as well as investing in product identification equipment such as a label printer. Not everything about workplace safety should be only about keeping low injury rate, which is why it is important for businesses to consider a diverse approach to securing company premises and their workforce.
Another area for improvement requires enterprises to prevent workplace diseases, according to WSH Institute executive director Gan Siok Lin. Worker safety and health are intertwined as they affect each other, he added.
While injuries significantly fell in 2017, the number of workplace diseases rose by nine per cent to nearly 800 people compared to 732 workers year over year. The most common illnesses comprised musculoskeletal disorders, noise-induced deafness and occupational skin disease. Hence, companies should work to reduce excessive noise, improve the working environment and manage toxic chemicals even more effectively.
Workplace safety requires a holistic approach that focuses on injury and disease prevention. How does your company maintain a safe and secure job site?