Workplace fatalities in Singapore in 2017 fell to a record low for the first time in the last 13 years, according to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).
MOM data showed that job-related accidents claimed 41 lives in the previous year. These incidents included deaths by falling from heights and vehicular collisions. While workplace safety seemed to have improved in the country, employers should still step up their security policies to achieve a nationwide target.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced a goal of less than one fatality per 100,000 workers before 2028. In 2016, the Lion City recorded a 1.9 fatality rate, which is above other developed countries such as the Netherland, Sweden and the U.K.
A collective effort between employers and employees will be necessary to achieve this. Companies need to invest in safety from training programmes to as simple as identification labels. On the other hand, the Singapore Institution of Safety Officers and Singapore Contractors Association believe that influencing safety behaviour only occurs by supporting companies.
Employees are equally responsible for maintaining safety at work, particularly young Singaporeans, according to Josephine Teo, Second Minister for Manpower. Younger employees need to be more aware of preventing occupational injuries, as they are more vulnerable to them than their older counterparts.
Teo cited data from the International Labour Organisation to back up her claims. It showed that employees between 15 and 24 years old have a 40% higher chance of suffering workplace injuries. Lack of experience serves as one factor, as many them work either on an apprenticeship, a part-time role or on a temporary basis.
Employers and employees in Singapore could only further reduce the number of workplace accidents if they work together. What do you and your company do to improve workplace safety?