Workplace deaths and HR: how does Malaysia compare against Singapore?

HRD looks at the statistics of workplace fatalities in Malaysia and Singapore – which is the more deadly workplace location?

Research released from the Health and the Environment Journal last year showed that fatal occupational accident statistics in Malaysia have remained stagnant since 2009, despite the country aiming to reduce the number of fatal accidents by 20% by 2015.

The construction and manufacturing industries accounted for 37% and 22% of all fatal injuries investigated by the Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH), the report said.

It attributed high occupational accidents to a lack of safety culture and non-compliance with the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) 1994.

The enactment of the Act, which drew on a number of aspects of the British Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, was accelerated by the tragedy of Sungai Buloh Bright Sparkler firework factory explosion in 1991, which claimed 23 lives, the report said.

According to Deputy Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Abd Muttalib, there were 933 fatal accidents and 62,398 disability cases in Malaysia workplaces last year.

A total of RM7.01 million was paid by the Manpower Department to foreign workers involved in accidents at the workplace in 2014, he said.

Workplace accidents in Singapore

Meanwhile, in Singapore, the number of workers dying on construction sites has dropped to eight in the first half of this year, from 17 in the same period last year.

Earlier this year, it was reported that overall workplace deaths dropped from a rate of 2.3 employees in 2013 to 1.8 last year – a total of 60 people.

In April, the city state’s Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Institute set the goal of zero workplace accidents.

There have been a number of initiatives introduced recently to make workplaces safer, including stricter penalties for companies that flout safety regulations and compulsory implementation of data loggers in mobile cranes by August 2018.

In Singapore, employees who sustain injuries or who contract occupational diseases arising out of their work, or the estates of employees who die in a work-related accident, are entitled to claim work injury compensation under the Work Injury Compensation Act.

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