Written Answer by Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, Acting Minister for Manpower, to Parliamentary Question on Heart Attacks At Workplaces
Notice Paper No. 484 of 2013 For The Sitting On 20 Jan 2014 Question No. 1651
MP: Ms Mary Liew
To ask the Acting Minister for Manpower (a) in the last five years, how many workers have suffered from cardiac arrests at their workplace; and (b) whether the Ministry will consider making it mandatory for workplaces to install Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) and to provide training to designated personnel to operate AEDs, as measures to deal with workplace emergencies under the Workplace Safety and Health Act.
- On average, MOM records 260 cases per year involving workers who suffered a medical condition at their workplace. This includes an average of 25 fatal cardiovascular-related cases in the last three years. At the national level, SCDF’s records show that they responded to an average of 74 work-related emergency cases per year1, some of which may have included cardiac arrest cases.
- Under the Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Act, employers are required to develop and implement emergency response procedures. In addition, the WSH (First-aid) Regulations require all workplaces to appoint at least one first-aider for workplaces with more than 25 workers. Under the Regulations, first-aiders must also undergo an Occupational First-aid Course, which includes training in CPR and the use of AED. To date, there are more than 5,400 workers trained in the first-aid course.
- Many employers are already providing AEDs at their workplaces without a need for a law to mandate it. The Singapore Heart Foundation together with the National Resuscitation Council, have been actively promoting the use of AEDs. Today, there are more than 1,000 AEDs located at various workplaces in Singapore2.
- MOM will continue to regularly review the measures in place to deal with workplace emergencies.
Approximately 4.4% of an average of 1,638 cases a year from 2010-2013.
Obtained from the Singapore Heart Foundation’s AED Registry