Spike in work-related traffic fatalities in first half of 2015

SINGAPORE - Fatalities and injuries at the workplace have decreased in the first half of 2015, but there was a slight increase in occupational diseases during the same period, with noise-induced deafness forming 61 per cent of such cases.

Work-related traffic was the leading cause of fatalities with eight deaths, the Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Council said in its half-year report released on Thursday, followed by falls from heights with seven fatalities. Five people were killed by moving objects while at work, which was the third-leading cause of fatalities.

The construction sector remained the highest contributor of major injuries with 88 cases in the first half of 2015, compared to 92 cases last year, the WSH Council added.

Falls (from heights, slips, trips and falls) was the leading cause of major injuries with a total of 127 cases (43 per cent) recorded.

Expressing concern about the spike in work-related traffic fatalities, MOM's Commissioner for WSH, Er. Ho Siong Hin said: "There were eight fatalities between January and June 2015, compared to six fatalities for the whole of 2014.

"Employers of vocational drivers must play an active role to ensure that their drivers are competent, obey traffic rules and have adequate rest."

Dr Gan Siok Lin, Executive Director of the WSH Institute, added: ""The better WSH performance in the first six months is a reflection of the joint efforts put in by the Government and industry.

"The industry can tap on the report to identify key areas for further improvement and implement measures to mitigate risks at the workplace."