• Vol. 39 No. 12, 920–926
  • 15 December 2010

Major Workplace Related Accidents in Singapore: A Major Trauma Centre’s Experience



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Introduction: Major workplace related accidents pose a significant healthcare resource challenge in Singapore.

Materials and Methods: Our study looks at the epidemiology of patients who were admitted for workplace related accidents, in a single institution, with an Injury Severity Score of >9.

Results: There were 196 cases of major workplace related accidents admitted between January 2006 and December 2007. The median age of patients admitted was 37 years with a large percentage being males (95.4%) and non-residents (57.1%). The most common ethnic group was Chinese (53.1%) followed by Indians (23.5%). The most common mechanism of injury was fall from height (66.3%) followed by injuries as a result of falling objects at work (21.9%). The percentage of patients who required surgical intervention was 69.9%. Patients admitted for major workplace related accidents had a median length of stay of 5 days in the hospital, a median length of 24 days of medical leave (ML), certifying them unfit for duty and the average cost of stay for each patient was S$11,000.

Conclusions: We have a better understanding of the epidemiology and socio-economic impact of workplace related accidents through this study. Workplace related accidents result in significant number of man-days lost from work and monetary cost to employers, medical insurance and the hospital. With an improved understanding, we propose methods to prevent and reduce such accidents in future. A direct consequence of which will be the possible reduction of hospitalisation costs and better allocation of healthcare resources in the future.

Workplace related accidents are major problems around
the world and in Singapore. The Center For Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC), United States reported a
total of 5702 work related fatal injuries and a rate of 4.0
deaths per 100,000 workers in 2005, with falls and being
struck by objects as the second and third most common
causes of fatal work related injuries.

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