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Two ways employers need to shift their mindset on Workplace Safety and Health

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After over a year of deliberation and 28 engagement sessions with close to 3,000 stakeholders, the Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) 2028 Tripartite Strategies Committee has recommended strategies to raise Singapore’s WSH performance to be among the best in the world.

According to a press release, to meet the goal of providing workers with among the safest and healthiest workplaces in the world, employers need to shift their mindsets in two key ways.

#1 Shift away from thinking that WSH is a cost to minimise 

To bring about a sustained and enduring culture of risk prevention, employers need to be convicted that good WSH is good for business.

To support this mindset shift. the Committee recommends:

  • To publish the WSH outcomes of companies, so that service buyers can make more educated choices on which are safer partners they should contract with.
  • To share work injury compensation claims data among insurers, so that safer companies can benefit from cheaper insurance premiums.
  • To harmonise the criteria for public sector developers to disqualify unsafe contractors from contracts. This will give contractors with a stronger WSH record a competitive edge in government contracts.

#2 Shift away from thinking that workers’ individual health is not the employer’s responsibility

Instead, employers should believe that they can and should create work environments conducive for good health, the Committee noted.

This is important as individual health conditions, if not managed properly, can lead to dizziness or loss of consciousness at work. This could compromise the safety of not just the worker himself, but also of his colleagues.

Recommendations to support this shift include:

  • To develop guidelines on practical job adaptations that will allow workers with chronic conditions such as diabetes, to continue working safely.
  • To expand access to Total WSH programmes that cater to both injury prevention, and health promotion.
  • To train WSH Officers, which are predominantly focused on identify injury risks, to also be able to prevent risks arising from ill-health.

Photo / 123RF

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