Ergonomics problems like Back and Neck Pains cost Singapore $3.5 billion a year
Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Instituteestimates that work-related musculoskeletal disorders and other ergonomic problems result in an economic loss of $3.5 billion a year to Singapore1. This is approximately 1% of Singapore GDP. This may not seem much but when compared to the average 1% productivity growth recorded in the past decade, without these ergonomic problems such as back pains, neck pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, we would DOUBLE our annual productivity growth.
Also, back pains will get greater attention with back injuries due to ergonomic risks will be classified under WRMSD in the WSH Statistics for 2014. Back pain injuries were previously classified under minor injuries, but they are found to be caused by manual lifting and carrying of heavy materials.
To help firms tackle this issue, the WSH Council launched a set of guidelines on improving ergonomics in the workplace. These include tips on how to lift heavy objects safely and good office workstation design.
All in all, these efforts will put us the right path to get better control of this growing problem in Singapore.
- Opening Speech by Mr Hawazi Daipi, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Education and Manpower at the Workplace Ergonomics Forum, 27 March 2014, 11:00 AM, Singapore Institute of Management