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Singapore's workplace fatality rate at its lowest but non-fatal injuries up

THE workplace fatality rate was at its lowest last year at 1.8 per 100,000 employed persons, according to the Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Institute.

Across all sectors, there were 60 workplace fatal injuries last year, down from 73 in 2013.

Construction, transportation and storage, as well as manufacturing, were the top three contributors of overall workplace fatalities.

The institute said falls remained the leading incident type with 14 cases, followed by "struck by moving objects" and the collapse or failure of structure and equipment, and work-related traffic accidents.

While fatality rate was at its lowest, more non-fatal workplace injuries were reported in 2014. Last year, there were 13,535 major and minor injuries, an increase of over 9 per cent from 2013.

Minor injuries at the workplace rose 10 per cent, from 11,740 in 2013 to 12,863 in 2014.

The institute said major injuries - those that result in amputation, paralysis or fractures, for example - climbed 5 per cent to 672 in 2014.

Said Gan Siok Lin, executive director of the institute: "We are particularly concerned with the increase in the number of workplace major injuries. Companies need to take immediate steps to review their work practices and implement measures to address existing WSH issues and gaps that might have been overlooked previously."

Ho Siong Hin, the Manpower Ministry's commissioner for WSH, noted that in the first two months of 2015, there were five fatal work-related traffic accidents compared to one in the same period in 2014.

"We urge the industry to adopt preventive measures in protecting workers who are required to ride or drive as part of their job scope. MOM will act against companies and individuals who refuse to take these measures and uphold their legal responsibilities."

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