Girish Mahajan (Editor)

Workplace safety and health in Singapore

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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.

Contents

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:

  1. Construction and Landscape Committee
  2. Chemical Industries Committee
  3. Healthcare Committee
  4. Hospitality & Entertainment Industries Committee
  5. Logistics and Transport Committee
  6. Marine Industries Committee
  7. Metalworking and Manufacturing Committee
  8. Chemical Management & GHS Hazard Communication Taskforce
  9. Crane Safety Taskforce
  10. Work at Height Safety Taskforce
  11. Insurance Workgroup
  12. Facilities Management Workgroup

Three functional committees were formed to identify, champion, and implement initiatives in the following areas:

  1. Engagement and Outreach;
  2. Industry Capability Building; and
  3. Workplace Health

The Partners

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.

WSH 2018: A National Strategy for WSH for 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
  • Build Capability of the Industry to Better Manage WSH

    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.

    Promote WSH And Recognise Companies With Good WSH Performance

    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.

    Setting Acceptable WSH Practices

    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.

    WSHC Programmes

    These programmes include:

    bizSAFE

    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.

    References

    Workplace safety and health in Singapore Wikipedia


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