Major workplace related accidents in Singapore: A major trauma centre's experience

Ann Acad Med Singap. 2010 Dec;39(12):920-7.


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.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Occupational / trends*
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Registries
  • Singapore / epidemiology
  • Trauma Centers*
  • Trauma Severity Indices
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology
  • Wounds and Injuries / surgery
  • Young Adult