Why is it a priority?
Amputation accounts for 21% of the workplace major injuries from 2014 to 2017 and the number of amputation cases had remain consistently high (Figure 9). The top two contributing sectors were Manufacturing (34%) and Construction (32%). 39% of amputation injuries involved the use of industrial machines, with sawing machines as the top incident agent.
Source: WSH National Statistics Report 2017
An analysis of the 660 amputation cases recorded from 2012 to 2016 found that 55% were contributed by unsafe workplace conditions e.g. unguarded machines, use of improper equipment, lack of safe work procedures. 36% of the cases were contributed by unsafe acts e.g. clearing chokes while machine is running or doing last minute adjustments during lifting operation.
Industry stakeholders who attended a solutioning session organized by WSH Institute in May 2017 had identified the following root causes for amputations:
i. Poor identification of amputation hazards;
ii. Mind-set that accidents will not happen to them;
iii. Unguarded machines;
iv. Lack of compliance of Safe Work Procedures (SWP); and
v. Ineffective training/briefing.
The following research is needed to reduce workplace accidents resulting in amputations:
- Determine challenges in preventing amputation injuries and measures to overcome these challenges;
- Develop and test solutions to nudge behaviours for prevention of amputation injuries; and
- Evaluate effectiveness of interventions by measuring workers’ unsafe behavior, near misses, injuries, etc.