How deadly are Singaporean workplaces?

The grimmest HR statistic in Singapore has been released for the first half of the year – and the result is not too bad

How deadly are Singaporean workplaces?
The number of workplace fatalities in Singapore has dropped in the first half of the year, according to government figures.

Minister for Manpower Lim Swee Say said last week that there were 19 workplace fatalities from January to June, a 21% drop from the 42 deaths during the same period in 2016. Lim said efforts to improve performance must continue despite the improvement.

After the first half of 2016, tripartite partners and industry stakeholders began a series of collective and concerted actions resulting in the 43% decline of workplace fatalities in the second half of 2016 through stricter enforcement, enhanced penalties and increased outreach.

Speaking at the annual Workplace Safety and Health Awards, Lim told industry partners that businesses can never be complacent about workplace safety and health and take it for granted. He cited the recent fatality and injuries after a viaduct section under construction near the PIE collapsed.

“The cause of the incident is still being investigated. But one thing for sure is that this is a man-made incident that could have been avoided, if everyone involved in this project had paid enough attention to the design and construction of the viaduct, and the safety of workers. This is why we need to maintain the ‘heat’ to ensure that everyone will take workplace safety and health seriously,” said Lim.

The minister said he wants companies to see the “light” and recognize that businesses benefit from investments in workplace safety and health.

“It is our shared responsibility to ensure that every worker can go home safely every day, and every foreign worker can return to their home country after every work assignment here. A safe workplace is good for businesses too, because productivity and safety are essentially two sides of the same coin. One cannot do without the other,” Lim said.

Related stories:
Employer fined $280,000 over fatal worksite accident
MOM uncovers over 400 safety violations at worksites in June

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