The Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Council was formed on 1 April 2008. It is an industry-led Statutory Body that is based in Singapore. It is a step-up from its precursor, the Workplace Safety and Health Advisory Committee (WSHAC) formed in September 2005. The WSHC is endowed with statutory powers.
The WSHC comprises 17 leaders from the major industry sectors (including construction, manufacturing, marine industries, petrochemicals and logistics), the Government, unions and professionals from the legal, insurance and academic fields.
Under the WSHC, seven industry committees, three taskforces and two workgroups have been formed to address the specific WSH challenges in their respective sectors:
- Construction and Landscape Committee
- Chemical Industries Committee
- Healthcare Committee
- Hospitality & Entertainment Industries Committee
- Logistics and Transport Committee
- Marine Industries Committee
- Metalworking and Manufacturing Committee
- Chemical Management & GHS Hazard Communication Taskforce
- Crane Safety Taskforce
- Work at Height Safety Taskforce
- Insurance Workgroup
- Facilities Management Workgroup
Three functional committees were formed to identify, champion, and implement initiatives in the following areas:
- Engagement and Outreach;
- Industry Capability Building; and
- Workplace Health
The WSHC works closely with the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and other government agencies, various industry sectors, unions and professional associations in development of strategies and programmes to raise WSH standards in Singapore.
The WSH 2018 National Strategy spells out the national vision, strategies and strategic outcomes to lower Singapore's workplace fatality rate to less than 1.8 per 100,000 workers by 2018. Co-drafted by the WSH Council and MOM, the WSH 2018 National Strategy aims to synergise the efforts and resources of all stakeholders to realise the vision of "A safe and healthy workplace for everyone; and a country renowned for best practices in workplace safety and health".
To achieve the desired WSH 2018 vision, four strategic outcomes were identified:Strategic Outcome 1: Reduction in WSH Incident Rates
Strategic Outcome 2: Safety and Health is an Integral Part of Business
Strategic Outcome 3: Singapore is Renowned as a Centre of Excellence for WSH
Strategic Outcome 4: A Progressive and Pervasive Safety and Health Culture
A multi-pronged approach is needed to achieve these strategic outcomes. Therefore, four strategies were identified to guide the efforts of all stakeholders in strengthening WSH improvements and drive the process towards safer and healthier workplaces. The four strategies are:Strategy 1: Build Strong Capabilities to Better Manage WSH
Strategy 2: Implement an Effective Regulatory Framework
Strategy 3: Promote the Benefits of WSH and Recognise Best Practices
Strategy 4: Develop Strong Partnerships Locally and Internationally
The WSHC collaborates with other government agencies including the Workforce Development Agency (WDA). Utilising the Workforce Skills Qualification (WSQ) framework developed by WDA, the WSH Professional WSQ framework was established for the competency training of WSH Professionals. Complementing the training development aspects, the WSHC conducts regular reviews and audits of Accredited Training Providers so as to ensure a pool of highly credible and competent WSH training providers.
To build and promote WSH culture in the community, the WSHC actively organises events and programmes, engaging various stakeholders, to promote the importance of WSH and its benefits and provide the necessary guidance for its implementation. Some of these activities include the National WSH Campaign, the WSH Awards and the “Safety Starts With Me” campaign and various WSH seminars, conferences and workshops targeting different categories of workforce. Among the staple of WSHC publications are the WSH statistical reports, case studies, guidelines, technical advisories, approved codes of practice, posters, flyers and videos, and iWSH (newsletter specially designed for workers). The WSHC also has an up-to-date website, and the WSH Bulletin, an electronic bulletin that highlights the latest in WSH issues.
The WSHC drives the adoption of good WSH practices with various stakeholders in the WSH industry. The WSHC also works in collaboration with the other standard-setting bodies to develop national WSH standards, as well as lead the development of industry guidelines, and establish approved codes of practices for the industry.
These programmes include:
bizSAFE is a capability building programme that is tailored to assist the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) in building up their WSH capabilities. It provides a 5-step approach ranging from top management demonstrating their commitment towards WSH, to acquiring Risk Management capability and inclusion of a Workplace Safety and Health Management System within the organisation.