Singapore’s Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Campaign launched this month aims to make Singapore a safer place to work and focused raising the country’s WSH standards. This comes on the back of 19 fatalities in Q1 2014, 12 of which occurred in the construction sector.
SingaporeCompanyIncorporation.sg welcomes the review and recognizes that the step is necessary to ensure Singapore companies and stakeholders have the processes in place prevent casualties at the workplace, especially in this sector.
Safer work environments
In a bid to make Singapore a safer place to live and work, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is set to review the regulatory penalties and legislative framework for violation of Workplace Safety and Health standards. Stressing on the safety of construction workers, Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam pointed that the genuine operating challenges for construction companies, such as worker shortages and strict deadlines should be met along with an equal emphasis on safety of workers. He urged a pressing need to achieve a clear and lasting improvement in the sector’s WSH performance.
“Implementing safer WSH regulations will ensure higher productivity for builders and developers, lower compensation costs and will attract higher-skilled workers in the construction sector of Singapore,” added Ms. Cheryl Lee, Operations Manager at SingaporeCompanyIncorporation.sg.
Incorporating safety in design
Deputy PM Tharman identified that currently developers and designers tend to put the onus of worker safety and health measures on builders and building operators. He stressed on the need to move the responsibility upstream to designers and developers by laying emphasis on incorporating safety principles in the design stage itself. Builders and building operators will then have to manage significantly fewer risks downstream.
He announced the government’s intentions of mandating the ‘Design for Safety’ program for all developers. Industry experts will be called on to discuss the program details and an inter-agency workgroup led by MOM and the Building and Construction Authority will be formed to roll out the implementation of ‘Design for Safety’ framework.
“Our observation is that the number of accidents and fatalities can be reduced significantly by incorporating the principles of safety in design for buildings and structures. The ‘Design for Safety’ framework brings together stakeholders including workers, designers and building contractors to help reduce risks at the source.
This ultimately compels employers and stakeholders to meet higher safety standards, prevent fatalities onsite and rise up to the challenges and responsibilities they bear. We anticipate that when this comes to fruition, more Singapore companies will become better employers and benefit from higher productivity from their employees. This will in turn bolster Singapore’s attractiveness as a business hub of choice,” concluded Ms. Lee.