Singapore’s Minister of State for Manpower Zaqy Mohamad has accepted the recommendations of the International Advisory Panel (IAP) for WSH at the Singapore WSH Conference on 30 August 2018.
The Ministry of Manpower will work with tripartite partners and industry stakeholders to incorporate the IAP’s recommendations into the WSH2028 strategy, which aims to deepen WSH ownership, renew focus on workplace health, and promote technology adoption to advance WSH outcomes.
In his closing address at the Singapore Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Conference 2018, Minister Mohamad noted as part of this strategy, the nation aspires to reduce workplace fatality rate to less than one per 100,000 employed persons on a sustained basis by 2028.
“Only four countries – Germany, Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and Sweden – have achieved this with consistency. They have had a much longer history with WSH than Singapore has,” he pointed out.
He also shared the following key guidelines for employers:
- All things being equal, customers often prefer to have peace of mind and service assurance; thus Singapore companies are well-placed to harness WSH as their competitive advantage.
- We should not stop with the large companies. When a buyer like Keppel demands good safety standards from their contractors, it will encourage many more companies down the supply chain to proactively improve their WSH practices, without MOM prescribing what should be done.
- He agrees that the Committee’s recommendation to make companies’ WSH performance more transparent will help service buyers be more discerning in identifying the safer contractors, and align commercial interest with better WSH outcomes.
- The government’s experience with the construction industry has shown that less experienced workers are more prone to injury than their peers who have been here longer. Training can help to bridge this experience gap. For example, virtual reality can be used to create an immersive experience, where workers can navigate WSH challenges and learn to solve problems in a simulated worksite.
The next steps for WSH2028
Per Minister Mohamad, the Committee will incorporate the IAP’s recommendations, and will continue to develop more ideas by engaging unions, trade associations and chambers (TACs), WSH training providers, and the public, before finalising the WSH2028 Strategy by February 2019.
“The journey will be challenging, but the outcomes are well worth it. Singapore is renowned across the world for our safe streets and safe food. We should also be renowned for our safe workplaces,” he said.
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