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Construction sector has worst safety record

The Straits Times | Amelia Tan | Saturday, Apr 12, 2014

The construction sector has earned itself an unwanted title as the most dangerous industry in Singapore.

While traditionally high-risk along with the bad boys of marine and manufacturing, construction has degenerated further.

It accounted for 33 of the 59 workplace fatalities last year. As a result, the sector's fatality rate spiked to seven for every 100,000 workers, up from 5.9 the year before.

And it is not looking good this year either. In the first three months, 12 out of the 19 workplace fatalities took place at construction sites.

The figures were revealed yesterday by Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Manpower Hawazi Daipi. "We need to stem the increasing number of fatal accidents that have beset us. One life loss is too many," he said at a safety forum which drew some 500 participants.

Workplace Safety and Health Council chairman Lee Tzu Yang said the accidents and deaths have "saddened us all and clearly show that we need to improve our workplace safety and health performance".

The council will tackle the construction sector's poor track record with new safety programmes targeting three areas - work at heights, crane and formwork. These three areas have contributed to the bulk of the accidents and deaths since last year.

For instance, 14 of the 17 fatal falls last year happened while working at heights.

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