Sharing some context at the awards, Senior Minister of State for Manpower Zaqy Mohamad announced that for the first time ever, the national workplace fatal injury rate had fallen below 1.0 per 100,000 workers in 2023.
A total of 21 unions and companies in Singapore have been awarded for their efforts in championing a healthier and safer workplace for employees.
The awards were given out at the National Trades Union Congress' NTUC U Safe Forum and Awards 2024 on 31 January 2024 (Wednesday) and attended by HRO, highlighting the theme 'Building a safer workplace culture together'.
Held at the Devan Nair Institute of Employment and Employability, the event was graced by Guest-of-Honour, Senior Minister of State for Manpower, Zaqy Mohamad.
Across three categories, this year’s awards were conferred to unions, unionised companies, as well as NTUC U SME partners, who displayed exemplary efforts in upholding high workplace safety standards. These efforts range from adopting workplace safety and health (WSH) technology to monitoring workplace safety and taking care of the health and mental wellbeing of workers.
Sharing some context while speaking at the event, SMS Zaqy announced that for the first time ever, the national workplace fatal injury rate had fallen below 1.0 per 100,000 workers in 2023 — a significant feat currently only consistently achieved by four OECD countries: the Netherlands, the UK, Germany, and Sweden.
In his opening speech, NTUC Assistant Secretary-General Melvin Yong expressed that he is encouraged by the reduction in the workplace fatal injury rate for 2023: "This achievement is possible because of the concerted efforts by the tripartite partners to protect and safeguard our workers."
However, he asserts that it is important to remember that workplace safety is not just a set of rules and regulations; it is a culture that must be embraced by all, especially through open communication and collaboration between company management, union, and workers.
"By working closely together, we can better identify potential hazards, address safety issues, and implement preventive measures because every worker matters, and every worker deserves a safe working environment."
Unions and companies recognised for their efforts towards workplace safety
Three different award categories were presented:
U Safe Advocate Award (for unions)
This award was conferred to four unions who:
- Demonstrated commitment to workplace safety by establishing a WSH sub-committee, establishing reporting channels, training union leaders, setting WSH goals, and promoting staff participation in WSH training and forums.
- Proactively promoted WSH best practices, information, and initiatives.
- Actively tracked the WSH performances of the union branches and are involved in helping union leaders work with management to improve injury performance.
Winning unions include:
- Building Construction and Timber Industries Employees' Union (BATU)
- Healthcare Services Employees' Union (HSEU)
- National Transport Workers Union
- Public Utilities Board Employees' Union (PUBEU)
U Safe Champions Award (for companies)
This award was conferred to 14 unionised companies who:
- Showcased exceptional WSH performance through continuous monitoring, analysis, and implementation of targeted programmes to enhance workplace safety.
- Additionally, exhibit a comprehensive approach to injury prevention, health promotion, and a strong senior management commitment to WSH.
- Actively engaged internal and external stakeholders in WSH, fostered regular collaboration with unions on WSH matters, implemented workplace safety programs to cultivate a robust safety culture, and introduced initiatives supporting both physical and mental wellbeing.
- Adopted innovative solutions to address WSH issues, including the use of technology.
- Participated in NTUC’s ‘Spot, Stop, Report’ WSH campaign in September 2023.
Winning companies include:
- Changi General Hospital
- Dyna Mac Engineering Services
- Fujitec Singapore Corporation
- KK Women's and Children's Hospital
- NTUC FairPrice Group
- Public Utilities Board
- SBS Transit
- Singapore Post
- Tan Tock Seng Hospital
U Safe U SME Award (for SMEs)
This award was conferred to three SMEs who are partners of NTUC U SME and demonstrated the same attributes as the companies lauded for the U Safe Champions Awards for companies.
Winning companies include:
- Caisson Engineering
- D-Team Engineering
- Kindly Construction & Services
Beyond the NTUC U Safe Forum and Awards, NTUC hopes to demonstrate its WSH commitment through other platforms, in line with the national 2028 WSH goal of achieving a fatal injury rate of less than 1.0 per 100,000 workers.
In support of the national 2028 WSH goal, NTUC held the “Spot, Stop and Report” WSH campaign in September 2023, with the objective to cultivate a culture of reporting, empowering workers to speak up for safety by reporting safety concerns and unsafe practices to management without fear of reprisal or retaliation. The recently concluded campaign received good response from more than 10 companies, with those participating seeing an increase in reports relating to workplace safety and health.
ASG Melvin Yong added: "We are encouraged by the positive response from our companies and workers to NTUC’s “Spot, Stop and Report” campaign. NTUC will continue to actively collaborate with the Ministry of Manpower and employers to develop and promote workplace safety and health (WSH) initiatives and enable a safe and healthy work environment for our workers.
"We encourage workers to continue engaging their management and unions to identify potential hazards related to WSH and take action to mitigate these hazards for everyone’s safety."
Lead image / National Trades Union Congress (NTUC)