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Workplace injuries fall in 2015 — PSA

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An assembly line laborer works across from a collaborative robot, right, at the Stihl Inc. manufacturing facility in Virginia Beach, Va. on May 25, 2017 -- AP PHOTO/JOHN MINCHILLO

By Ranier Olson R. Reusora,
Researcher

REPORTED CASES of occupational injury declined around 13.7% in 2015 compared with the previous survey covering 2013, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said.

The data on injuries were published in the February 2018 issue of Labstat Updates. The study, “Safety and Health in the Workplace,” found that in 2015, 17,859 cases were reported which resulted in workdays lost at establishments employing 20 or more workers, compared with the 20,702 cases reported in 2013.

Superficial injuries and open wounds were the most common hazard in the workplace nationwide at 10,042 or 56.2% of the total reported cases. The share was down 5.5 percentage points from 61.7% in 2013, where the category of injury was also the most common.

“Specifically, superficial injuries and open wounds were prevalent in the real estate industry (86.4%) in 2015, and in professional, scientific and technical activities (74.8%) in 2013,” according to the report.

Other types of injury were dislocations, sprains and strains (12.6% of the total), fractures (8.8%); burns, corrosive injuries, scalding and frostbite (8.4%), foreign bodies in the eye (6.2%), concussions and internal injuries (4.9%), acute poisoning and infection (1.4%) and traumatic amputations (1.3%).

By industry, manufacturing had the most reported cases of workplace injury accounting for 48.2% of the total or around 8,602. Following were the wholesale and retail trade; the repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles (2,045 or 11.5%) and agriculture, forestry and fishing (1,877 or 10.5%).

The top three factors in occupational injuries were machines and equipment (26.9%), materials and objects (25.7%); and hand tools (19.5%).

“These three agents of occupational injuries were interchangeably the same top three causes of injury in 2013,” PSA said.

Meanwhile, the most injured body parts were the wrist and hand at 39.2% of the total, down from 45.4% in 2013 followed by those in the lower extremities (19.7%, up from 17%) and arms and shoulders (16.7%, up from 15.8%).

“Cases of occupational injuries that affected wrists and hands in 2015 were most common in establishments engaged in repair of computers and personal and household goods and other personal activities for both 2015 (59.3%) and 2013 (75.6%),” the report read.

In 2015, wrists and hands were the most injured in manufacturing (48.1%) and professional, scientific and technical activities (46.3%).

Cases of occupational injury sustained in the lower extremities were most common in establishments engaged in water supply, sewerage, waste management and remediation activities (46.1%); financial and insurance activities (44.9%); and information and communication (40.0%).

Injuries in the arms and shoulders were most common in the information and communication industry at 35.6%.

The leading cause of injury suffered by workers was “stepping on, striking against or being struck by objects, excluding falling objects” at 31.8% of the total. This category of injury was most prevalent in agriculture, forestry and fishing (49.2%); water supply, sewerage, waste management and remediation activities (47%); and construction (46.6%).

In absolute terms, however, manufacturing had the most number of reported cases at 2,158 (25.1%).

Another leading cause according to the report was workers “caught in or between objects” (22.7%) while “exposure to or contact with electric current” accounted for 1.5% of cases.