Written Answer by Minister for Manpower Dr Tan See Leng to PQ on inclusion of mental first aid responder and other practical skills in BizSAFE workplace safety and health training
NOTICE PAPER NO. 785 OF 2021 FOR THE SITTING ON 10 JAN 2022
QUESTION NO. 1961 FOR ORAL ANSWER
MP: Mr Edward Chia Bing Hui
To ask the Minister for Manpower whether Singapore’s workplace safety and health system will incorporate mental health and the addition of practical skills such as mental first aid responder within the BizSAFE training framework so that all companies are better prepared to handle the evolving needs of our workforce.
Our workplace safety and health (WSH) system already incorporates the area of mental health and well-being.
- We continue to enhance the WSH system to place more emphasis on workplace health, including mental health. For example, the WSH Council has enhanced the audit requirements for bizSAFE to make it explicit that companies need to consider personal health risk factors and psychosocial hazards when conducting risk assessments. This includes assessing how mental health affects safety at work and how work affects workers’ mental health.
- To support companies to update their approaches, the WSH Council has expanded the Code of Practice on Risk Management to provide clearer guidance. For example, organisations should consider organising mental health talks to educate employees on self-care tips, and conducting periodic surveys of employees' mental well-being. Examples of how to mitigate risks to mental well-being has been incorporated into bizSAFE training, following the enhanced Code of Practice.
- There is also a range of existing support within the WSH Council’s Total WSH Programme. This includes the iWorkHealth tool, which is an online, self-administered psychosocial health assessment tool that helps companies and their employees to identify common workplace stressors, as part of workplace health risks and hazards.
- We thank the Member for his suggestion on mental health first responder training. It will be incorporated into the Total WSH programme for all companies to tap on.