Six New Sectors Covered by Workplace Safety and Health Act from 1 March 2008
WSHAC provides guidelines for employers and educational materials for employees
With effect from 1 March 2008, six new sectors will be covered under the Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Act. They are:
- Healthcare Activities;
- Veterinary Activities;
- Hotels, Food and Beverage Sectors;
- Water Supply, Sewerage and Waste Management Activities;
- Landscape Care and Maintenance Service Activities; and
- Services allied to Transportation of Goods.
WSHAC helps companies and workers prepare for extended coverage of Act
2. This is the next step towards eventually extending the WSH Act to cover all workplaces, after the Act was passed in March 2006. The extension will contribute to the long-term plans to raise WSH standards across all industries in Singapore. To facilitate the transition for companies in the six new sectors, MOM and the Workplace Safety and Health Advisory Committee (WSHAC) have been actively engaging their industry bodies and associations since January 2007. The WSHAC had sent out letters to inform affected companies about the extended coverage of the WSH Act. A series of seminars and roadshows are being conducted from January to March 20081 to help companies understand the requirements of the WSH Act, to conduct and review risk assessments and implement workplace safety and health management system. Sector-specific guidelines were issued to help employers manage workplace risks and implement safety and health measures. In addition, educational materials like posters, flyers and pocket-size cards have been prepared for the employees in these sectors. These materials are available on the WSHAC website.
Help for Small and Medium Enterprises
3. To prepare themselves to comply with the legislative requirements of the WSH Act, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) can tap on the Risk Management Assistance Fund (RMAF) to co-fund the cost of engaging consultants and training to build in-house capabilities. More information on the RMAF is at Annex A.
4. SMEs can also join the WSHAC programme bizSAFE, which helps them build WSH capabilities through a five-step approach. Since the programme was introduced in April 2007, more than 300 SMEs have signed up for it. One such SME is landscape maintenance company Toh Eng Hock Construction2. It attained bizSAFE level 3 after successfully implementing risk management company-wide. TEHC Managing Director Mr Dick Toh talked about how bizSAFE had benefited his company: "We believe that bizSAFE will give us a competitive edge for our future project tenders. By being a part of bizSAFE, we can also assure our employees of a safer and healthier working environment". More information about bizSAFE is at Annex B.
1 There are three more upcoming seminars – Healthcare & Veterinary (23 Feb 2008); Landscape care and Maintenance (25 Feb 2008) and Water and Waste Management. More details are available on WSHAC website.
2 Teo Eng Hock Construction is an established landscape contractor started in 1971 which provides landscaping and ornamental horticultural services to government agencies, golf courses, commercial and residential properties. More information is on TEHC website. Media can contact Mr Alan Chan at (65) 9147 4565 for enquiries.