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Big Data Analytics: National Occupational Accident and Disease Statistics 2021

Release Date : Thursday 30, June 2022 1200

Big Data Analytics: National Occupational Accident and Disease Statistics 2021 contains information on occupational injury rates detailing the type of accidents and injuries, cause of the injury, industry, and states for the year 2021. These statistics are based on occupational injury data provided by the Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) and Social Security Organisation (SOCSO), Ministry of Human Resources.

Statistics on occupational injuries 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 injuries statistics is perhaps to provide information for prevention purposes, these statistics may also be used for several other purposes, such as estimating the consequences of occupational injuries (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.

Key Reviews

  • For the year 2021, the number of occupational injuries was 21,534 cases, declined 34.1 per cent from 32,674 cases recorded in 2020. The decrease in cases led to the rate of occupational injuries per 1,000 workers in 2021 reduced by 0.75 points to 1.43 (2020: 2.18). In the meantime, the number of fatal occupational injuries dropped by 11 cases to 301 cases in 2021 as compared to 312 cases in 2020, bringing the rate of fatal occupational injuries per 100,000 workers fell to 2.00 in 2021 from 2.09 in the previous year (Chart 1).

Chart 1: Number and Rate of Annual Occupational Injuries and Fatal Occupational Injuries, 2012-2021

  • Many economic sectors that were forced to close temporarily while others operated at reduced hours to curb the spread of pandemic COVID-19 was one of the main factors contributing to the decline in occupational injuries statistics for the period of 2021. The significant drop in the number of occupational injuries in Q3 2021 and Q4 2021 which was 57.1 per cent and 43.7 per cent respectively were in line with the level of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and Labour Productivity that remained lower than the level registered during the pre-pandemic period in Q4 2019 (Chart 2).

Chart 2: Number and Rate of Occupational Injuries, GDP Growth and
Labour Productivity per Hour Worked Growth, Q1 2019 – Q4 2021

  • Contrary to Malaysia, the increase in statistics of occupational injuries and fatal occupational injuries in 2021 were recorded in other countries such as Japan and Singapore. The occupational injuries rate per 1,000 workers in Japan rose to 2.77 in 2021 from 2.44 in 2020, while the rate of fatal occupational injuries also went up to 1.60 in 2021 (2020: 1.49). Similarly, Singapore showed higher trend of occupational injuries rate which registered 3.87 injuries in 2021 as compared to 3.44 in the preceding year. The rate of fatal occupational injuries in Singapore also showed an increase of 0.2 points to 1.10 in 2021 as compared to 0.90 in 2020.
  • In general, all states in Malaysia recorded lower numbers and rates of occupational injuries from the previous year except for Perlis which posted an increase of 0.49 points to 1.64. However, eight (8) states have recorded higher occupational injuries rates than the national rate (1.43), namely Johor (3.11), Melaka (2.03), Pulau Pinang (1.99), Perak (1.92), Negeri Sembilan (1.89), Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur (1.76), Perlis (1.64) and Pahang (1.53). Meanwhile, Sabah, Wilayah Persekutuan Labuan and Kelantan recorded the lowest occupational injuries rates among the states at 0.31, 0.41 and 0.43, respectively (Exhibit 1).
  • In terms of rate of fatal occupational injuries, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya registered the highest rate of fatal occupational injuries at 4.26 per 100,000 workers, followed by Johor (3.23), Negeri Sembilan (2.99), Sarawak (2.74) and Pahang (2.69). On the other hand, Perlis and Wilayah Persekutuan Labuan still recorded zero fatal occupational injury since 2020.

Exhibit 1: Occupational Injuries and Fatal Occupational Injuries by State, 2021

  • Statistics on occupational injuries and fatal occupational injuries by demographic shows that most of the cases involved male workers. In 2021, 85.3 per cent of the total number of injuries and 97.0 per cent of the total fatal occupational injuries were male, which is the same percentage composition in the preceding year. By nationality, 17,302 (80.3%) cases of occupational injuries involved Malaysian workers, and the remaining 4,232 cases (19.7%) were non-Malaysian workers (Exhibit 2).

Exhibit 2: Occupational Injuries and Fatal Occupational Injuries by Gender and Nationality, 2021

  • Statistics show that the composition of occupational injuries is in line with the structure of the working population by age group. 73.7 per cent (15,868 cases) of occupational injuries involved workers under age of 45 years. The highest injury rates were recorded among youth aged 20-24 years at 1.60 and followed by workers aged 30-34 years and 40-44 years at 1.47 and 1.45 per 1,000 employees (Chart 3). Meanwhile, statistics of fatal occupational injuries indicate that workers aged 50-54 years registered the highest fatality rate (2.64).

    Chart 3: Rate of Occupational Injuries by Age Group (per 1,000 workers), 2021

  • Based on the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994 (OSHA) sector (Act 514), the highest number of 2021 occupational injuries was recorded in Manufacturing sector at 7,994 cases, followed by Services (4,299 cases), Construction (2,297 cases) and Wholesale and Retail Trade (1,979 cases). The number of occupational injuries showed a declining trend for all sectors compared to the previous year except for Mining and Quarrying.
  • For the 2021 occupational injuries rate, the Manufacturing sector remained the highest at 3.20 cases per 1,000 workers, followed by Construction (1.98) and Utilities (1.95). Meanwhile, the Hotel and Restaurant industry posted the lowest occupational injuries rate at 0.18 cases. Mining and Quarrying was the only sector recorded an increase in 2021 at 1.90 as against 1.48 in the previous year (Chart 4).
  • The details also show that all sectors recorded a decrease in rate of fatal occupational injuries in 2021 except for Mining and Quarrying (2021: 10.98; 2020: 3.65), Utilities (2021: 4.90; 2020: 1.87), Transport, Storage and Communication (2021: 4.26; 2020: 1.42) and Finance, Insurance, Real Estate and Business Services (2021: 2.78; 2020: 1.56). Mining and Quarrying are the most high-risk sector for fatal occupational injuries which recorded a rate of 10.98 per 100,000 workers (9 cases).

Chart 4: Occupational Injuries and Fatal Occupational Injuries by Sector Act 514, 2021

  • 60.8 per cent of occupational injuries are caused by three (3) types of accident, namely Stepping On, Striking Against or Struck by Objects, including Falling Objects (5,330 injuries, 109 deaths), Falls of Persons (4,094 injuries, 95 deaths), and Other Types of Unclassified Accidents (3,661 injuries, 0 death). The majority of these accident are caused by the Working Environment (10,412 cases), Means of Transport and Lifting Equipment (3,129 cases), and Machines (2,222 cases) (Exhibit 3).


Exhibit 3: Number of Occupational Injuries by Type of Accident & Cause of Accident, 2021

  • Among the main type of injuries suffered are Other Wounds or Injuries (8,374 cases) such as open wounds, scalp wounds, loss of nails or ears, followed by Other and Unspecified Injuries (4,288 cases) and Fractures (3,991 cases). Most occupational injuries involve injuries location of the Upper Limb (8,819 cases) such as fingers, hands and shoulders, Lower Limb (4,154 cases) such as legs and knees, and Multiple Locations (2,676 cases) (Exhibit 4).

Exhibit 4: Number of Occupational Injuries by Type of Injury & Injury Location, 2021


  • Statistics recorded a total of 5,289 cases for Occupational Disease confirmed by DOSH in 2021. Among the three (3) highest categories of Occupational Disease are Occupational Noise-Related Hearing Disorder of 3,648 cases, Diseases caused by Biological Agent (1,350 cases) and Occupational Musculoskeletal Disorders (201 cases). Occupational Disease recorded the lowest for Diseases caused by Physical Agent (2 cases), Occupational Psychiatric Disorders (1 case) and Occupational Cancer (1 case) (Chart 5).

Chart 5: Number of Occupational Disease by Disease Category, 2021

The tables of the Big Data Analytics: National Occupational Accident and Disease Statistics 2021 is accessible and downloadable free of charge through the DOSM web page, www.dosm.gov.my. The comprehensive information and interactive data visualisation of National Occupational Accident and Disease Statistics 2021 can be obtained from https://www.dosm.gov.my/v1/index.php?r=column/cone&menu_id=SzRzZDhPdTVBdzN2aEQwLzhXS0tjUT09.

The Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) is conducting the Household Income, Expenditure and Basic Amenities Survey (HIES/BA) 2022 from 1st January 2022 to 31st December 2022 and the Annual Economic Survey 2022 (AES 2022) from 15th April 2022 to 30th September 2022. DOSM greatly appreciates the cooperation given by selected respondents by sharing their information with DOSM and making the survey a success. Please visit www.dosm.gov.my for more information.

The full publication can be downloaded through eStatistik portal.


Released by:


30 June 2022


Contact person:

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

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