Written Answer by Mrs Josephine Teo, Minister for Manpower, to PQ on Workplace Accidents and Injuries from July to October 2020
NOTICE PAPER NO. 137 FOR THE SITTING ON OR AFTER 3 NOVEMBER
QUESTION NO. 352 FOR WRITTEN ANSWER TO QUESTION FOR ORAL ANSWER NOT ANSWERED BY END OF QUESTION TIME
MP: Mr Melvin Yong Yik Chye
To ask the Minister for Manpower between July and October 2020, whether the number of workplace accidents and workplace injuries have increased as more workers begin to return to their workplaces.
- The non-fatal workplace injury rate in 3Q 2020 was 85 per 100,000 workers, or 2806 injuries. This was lower than the rate of 106 in 3Q 2019, or 3697 injuries, but higher than the rate of 55, or 1919 injuries in 2Q 2020. The increase from 2Q 2020 was due to reduced work activities in the 2nd Quarter due to circuit breaker measures.
- For fatal injuries, the 3Q 2020 rate was 0.18 per 100,000 workers, or six fatalities, a slight increase when compared to the 3Q 2019 rate of 0.17, or six fatalities, and the 2Q 2020 rate of 0.14, or five fatalities.
- We are concerned with the number of injuries and fatalities. Despite COVID-19, we must continue to press on to strive to eliminate all hazards from the workplace. We are also mindful of the risk that contractors and workers rush to catch up on work and compromise workplace safety. Employers and workers must remain vigilant against the risk of COVID-19, and against the risk of workplace accidents, so that our injury rate for 2020 will be comparable or below that for 2019.
- MOM has therefore stepped up engagement and enforcement efforts since the end of circuit breaker. The Workplace Safety and Health Council (WSHC) has engaged over 8,000 companies from industry associations on Safe Restart, through e-forums, webinars and circulars, and outreached to more than 70,000 WSH Bulletin subscribers with Safe Restart reminders, WSH tips and other digital training materials.