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    Sep 27, 2016

    Falls cause bulk of workplace deaths

    WORKPLACE deaths in the first half of this year went up from a year ago, as did the number of minor injuries sustained at work. Major injuries, however, decreased.

    There were 42 fatal work accidents from January to June this year, compared with 30 in the same period last year, according to a Workplace Safety and Health Institute report released yesterday. This is a 40 per cent increase.

    The bulk of these were falls, which accounted for 16 deaths. Seven workers died from being caught between objects, such as vehicles or industrial machines, while six died from being struck by moving objects such as trucks at worksites.

    Construction had the highest number of fatalities, with 40 per cent of the deaths in the first half of the year occurring in that sector.

    This year, there are 49 workplace deaths so far.

    Just last month, a construction worker from China fell seven storeys to his death at a Woodlands Close site.

    The number of overall workplace injuries also increased to 6,149 cases, compared with 6,009 cases in the same period last year.

    Major injuries - which are non-fatal but severe injuries such as amputation, blindness, or burns with more than 20 days' medical leave - dropped from 296 cases in the first half of last year to 284.

    More than half of these were crushing injuries, fractures, or dislocations.

    Minor injuries, however, have risen. These increased to 5,823 cases in the first half of the year, from 5,683 cases in the same period last year.

    Occupational diseases fell to 400 cases, down from 441 cases in the first half of last year. Most common was noise-induced deafness, which made up 57 per cent of the cases.