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According to John Ng, chairman of WSH Council, Singapore achieved a workplace fatal injury rate of 1.2 per 100,000 employees last year. This is the lowest level ever recorded for the entire workforce. Despite meeting the target set to have a workplace fatal injury rate of less than 1.8 by 2018, Ng remarked that the nation’s “workplace safety and health journey is far from complete.”
With that said, Singapore’s Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Council has recently launched its annual National WSH Campaign that sets the stage for the the council’s year-long outreach efforts to promote safety and health in workplaces. Supported by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) and Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF), the campaign reaches out to more than 100,000 employers and employees across all industries in Singapore.
According to last year’s WSH statistics, the top three causes of fatal work accidents were related to vehicular incidents, falls, and machinery incidents. There was also an increase in the number of work-related musculoskeletal disorders and noise-induced deafness. To raise awareness on these areas and promote good work practices to prevent injuries and ill health, this year’s outreach efforts will focus on four areas – vehicular safety, falls prevention, machinery safety and workplace health.
Speaking at the launch event on 22 April, Ng commented: “Last year, 42 workers did not make it home to their loved ones while at least 13,000 others suffered from various work-related injuries and diseases. As we have always emphasised: Every injury, every death is one too many. These workplace incidents can be prevented. When a worker gets hurt on the job, it affects his life and his family – physically, emotionally and financially.”
Introducing one of the council’s key outreach efforts this year to Take Time to Take Care, Ng said: “For workers, it is about taking time to, for example, check for open sides, check for blind spots, go for regular health screening, drink enough water to stay hydrated, and so forth. When you take time to take care of yourself, you protect your safety and health.”
For employers, Ng reminds to take the time to check on your workers and the workplace from time to timet. He said: “Hence, take time to do your Management Walkabout to observe the work activities, check for hazards and identify opportunities to improve the processes. Show your workers that you care for their safety, and you care for their health. In turn, they will be more motivated to put in their best in their work. To put it simply: Take care of your workers and they will take care of your business.”
In fact, the WSH Council has produced a short film to illustrate how the concept of “Take Time to Take Care” is relevant to any work and promote the use of the mnemonic action to the industry to drive the message of taking time to take care of themselves at work. The video will be uploaded on the WSH Council website and shared via social media platforms. Additionally, the council will be promoting the concept of “Take Time to Take Care” through various publicity channels such as print and digital advertisements, and outdoor media.
Photo / 123RF