Big Data Analytics: National Occupational Accident Statistics 2020 contains information on occupational accident rates detailing the type of accidents and injuries, cause of the accident, industry and states for the year 2020. These statistics are based on occupational accident data provided by the Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) and Social Security Organisation (SOCSO), Ministry of Human Resources.
Statistics on occupational accidents are crucial to assess on how safe and secure the workplace and working environments. They inform workers' exposure to risks at work and reveal which groups of workers are the most vulnerable.
These statistics help policymakers in concentrating their efforts so that measures taken are as impactful as possible, for instance, by designing specific safety campaigns or more effectively targeted inspection visits. Also, statistics are helpful to identify new hazards and emerging risks.
Although the main objective of occupational accidents statistics is perhaps to provide information for prevention purposes, they may also be used for a number of other purposes, such as estimating the consequences of occupational accidents (for instance, in terms of workdays lost, income lost or production lost), which in turn can raise awareness on the importance of occupational safety and health. In adopting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals contained in it, the international community recognised the importance of statistics and monitoring in the achievement of the goals. With that in mind, a Global Indicator Framework was designed to monitor progress towards the achievement of each Sustainable Development Goal and Target. Regarding Target 8.8 on protecting labour rights and promote safe and secure working environments for all workers, this indicator framework includes an indicator on the fatal and non-fatal occupational injury rates.
- For the year 2020, the number of occupational accidents was 32,674 cases, down 19.9 per cent from 40,811 cases recorded in 2019. The decrease in cases led to the rate of occupational accidents per 1,000 workers in 2020 reduced by 0.53 percentage points to 2.18 (2019 = 2.71). The number of occupational fatalities also declined by 266 cases to 312 cases in 2020 from 578 cases recorded in 2019, bringing the occupational fatality rate per 100,000 workers down to 2.09 (2020) from 3.83 in the previous year.
Figure 1: Annual Occupational Accidents and Fatality, 2012-2020
- Among the main factors contributing to this statistical decline are the measures of closure and restrictions imposed by the Government on economic activities to curb the spread of the COVID-19. A sharp decline of 44.6 per cent in the number of occupational accidents and 62.1 per cent of occupational fatalities were recorded in the second quarter of 2020, of which Malaysia's economy was hard-hit. During that reference period, Malaysia's GDP slump by 17.2 per cent, while total hours worked dropped 28.2 per cent.
Figure 2: Occupational Accident Rate, GDP Growth and Labour Productivity per hour worked Growth, Q119 – Q420
- The declining trend of occupational accidents and fatalities in 2020 was also recorded by other countries such as the United Kingdom (UK) and Singapore. The accident rate per 1,000 workers in Singapore dropped to 3.44 in 2020 from 3.95 in 2019, while the fatalities rate fell to 0.90 in 2020 from 1.10 in 2019. Meanwhile, the UK occupational accident and fatalities rate was lowest during the period when recording 2.38 and 0.34 for the fiscal year 2020/19. In contrast, Japan showed a trend of higher accident rates when it recorded 2.44 accidents in 2020 compared to 2.32 in the previous year. Nevertheless, the fatalities rate due to occupational accidents in Japan continued its downward trend in 2020 when it recorded 1.49 from 1.56 in 2019.
- In general, all states recorded lower numbers and rates of occupational accidents than the previous year. However, six (6) states have recorded higher occupational accident rates than the national, namely Johor (3.55), Perak (3.32), Pulau Pinang (3.25), Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur (3.14), Negeri Sembilan (3.08), and Melaka (2.74). Meanwhile, Sabah, Wilayah Persekutuan Labuan and Kelantan recorded the lowest accident rates among the states at 0.44, 0.65 and 0.76, respectively. In terms of fatalities due to accidents, Johor recorded the highest occupational fatalities rate at 3.66 per 100,000 workers, followed by Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur (3.07), Sarawak (2.85), Pahang (2.79) and Pulau Pinang (2.40). On the other hand, Perlis and Wilayah Persekutuan Labuan did not record any occupational fatalities accidents in 2020.
Figure 3: Occupational Accidents and Fatality by States, 2020
- Statistics on occupational accidents and fatalities by demographic show that most cases were involving male workers. In 2020, 84.3 per cent of the total number of accidents and 98.4 per cent of the total fatalities due to occupational accidents were male, which is the same percentage composition in previous years. By nationality, 27,754 cases (84.9%) of accidents involved Malaysian workers, and the remaining 4,920 cases (15.1%) were non-Malaysian workers.
Figure 4: Occupational Accidents and Fatality by Gender and Nationality, 2020
- Statistics show that the composition of occupational accidents is in line with the structure of the working population by age group. 71.8 per cent (23,464 cases) of occupational accidents involved workers under 45 years of age. The highest accident rates were recorded among youths aged 20-24 years at 2.49 and followed by workers aged 40-44 years and 55-59 years at 2.26 and 2.20 per 1,000 employees. Meanwhile, the statistics of fatalities due to occupational accidents show that workers aged 30-34 years recorded the highest death rate (2.37).
Figure 5: Occupational Accidents Rate by Age Group (per 1,000 workers), 2020
- Based on the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994 (OSHA) sector, the highest number of 2020 occupational accidents was recorded in Manufacturing at 10,303 cases, followed by Services (8,008 cases), Construction (3,958 cases), and Wholesale and Retail Trade (3,429 cases), respectively. The number of occupational accidents showed a declining trend for all sectors compared to the previous year except Finance, Insurance, Real Estate and Business Services. For the occupational accident rate, the Manufacturing sector remained the highest at 4.12 cases per 1,000 workers, followed by Construction (3.37) and Utilities (3.15). Meanwhile, the Hotel and Restaurant industry still recorded the lowest occupational accident rate at 0.38 cases. Only the Finance, Insurance, Real Estate and Business Services sectors recorded an increase, from 1.94 in the previous year to 2.66 in 2020. Details also show that all sectors recorded a decrease in the number and rate of occupational fatalities in 2020. However, the Construction sector remained the highest risk of occupational fatal accidents with a fatality rate of 6.90 per 100,000 workers (81 cases).
Figure 6: Occupational Accidents and Fatality by OSHA Sector, 2020
- 62.8 per cent of occupational accidents are caused by three types of accidents, namely Falls of persons (7,885 accidents, 88 deaths), Stepping on, striking against or struck by objects, including falling objects (7,285 accidents, 84 deaths) and Other types of unclassified accidents (5,351 accidents, 21 deaths). The majority of these accidents are caused by the working environment, means of transport and lifting equipment, and machinery.
Figure 7: Occupational Accidents by Type of Accident & Cause of Accident, 2020
- Among the main types of injuries suffered are Other wounds or injuries such as open wounds, scalp wounds, loss of nails or ears; Fractures and Other and unspecified injuries. Most occupational accidents involve injuries of the Upper limb such as fingers, hands and shoulders; Lower limb such as legs and knees; and General injuries/ poisonings/ diseases.
Figure 8: Occupational Accidents by Injury Location & Type of Injury, 2020
The tables of the Big Data Analytics: National Occupational Accident Statistics 2020 is accessible and downloadable free of charge through the DOSM web page, Download: Summary Table. The comprehensive information and interactive data visualisation of National Occupational Accident Statistics 2020 can be obtained from Big Data Analytics: National Occupational Accident Statistics 2020 Dashboard.
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DATO' SRI DR. MOHD UZIR MAHIDIN
CHIEF STATISTICIAN MALAYSIA
DEPARTMENT OF STATISTICS, MALAYSIA
22 July 2021
Mohd Yusrizal Ab Razak
Public Relation Officer
Strategic Communication and International Division
Department of Statistics, Malaysia
Tel : +603-8885 7942
Fax : +603-8888 9248
Email : yusrizal.razak[at]dosm.gov.my