WORKPLACE SAFETY AND HEALTH
Singapore – All workplaces in Singapore will be covered under the Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Act from today onwards.
All companies and employees here will need to take reasonable, practical measures to ensure their workplaces are safe. This includes proper risk management processes or taking steps to identify and manage the existing risks in the workplace to prevent incidents.
First announced in 2005, the WSH Act was extended to factories in 2006 and another six sectors in 2008.
Other than construction sites and industrial areas, non-industrial workplaces where only non-manual work is performed such as office buildings, shopping malls, education institutions and entertainment venues will now come under the WSH Act.
The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) says this latest extension brings on board more than 100,000 organisations with over 1.6 million employees, or about half of the Singapore workforce.
In earlier reports by Human Resources, MOM will come down harder on companies that do not ensure the safety and health of their workers.
Owners of operations that conduct activities that pose a higher threat would have to register with MOM and be subjected to stricter laws. This would include vessel repair facilities or places which handle hazardous substances.
MOM has changed the definition of “diseases” to include “all diseases arising from the exposures to biological and chemical agents at work”. It will take a closer look at situations where diseases are stemmed from exposure to risk factors at work.
Offices and non-industrial workplaces also have to take further precautions of safety hazards. Common hazards in the office include tripping over stray wires, poorly stacked objects such as boxes or falling off office chairs.
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