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Ratification of International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention C187 cements Singapore’s Commitment to Workplace Safety and Health

11 June 2012

  1. GENEVA – Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower will ratify the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Promotional Framework for Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Convention, C1871, with support from its tripartite partners – National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF), as well as Workplace Safety and Health Council (WSHC). This was announced by Minister of State for Manpower and National Development, Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, at the International Labour Conference in Geneva, Switzerland earlier today.
  2. Singapore is committed to ensuring safe and healthy workplaces for all our employees and we have invested much effort over the years to improve our WSH outcomes through coherent national policies, sound systems, and active promotion through our tripartite networks. According to Minister of State Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, “Since the reform of the Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) framework in 2005, Singapore has made significant progress on the WSH front as a result of regulatory reforms through the enactment of the WSH Act as well as greater industry ownership of WSH outcomes in areas such as industry capability building and standards setting. This has effectively brought down our workplace fatality rate from 4.9 fatalities per 100,000 workers in 2004 to 2.3 fatalities per 100,000 workers in 2011”.
  3. Elaborating on Singapore’s commitment in ratifying this Convention Mr Ho Siong Hin, Commissioner for Workplace Safety and Health from Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower, emphasised: “Prior to ratifying C187, Singapore had already launched a comprehensive national WSH Strategy 2018 which outlines a strategic and long-term approach to achieve sustained and continuous improvement in WSH standards. The ratification of C187 will align our efforts closer with international labour standards. This move will position us to play an even bigger role in both the region as well as on the world stage for WSH excellence.”
  4. Mr Heng Chiang Gnee, Acting Chairman of the Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Council on the significance of the ratification to industry stakeholders, “This is an important step on the WSH front for Singapore. It ensures that the safety and health of our workers is always top priority on the national agenda. At the same time, it is also in line with what the WSH Council has set out in the national WSH 2018 Strategy2 as well as our commitment to the Seoul Declaration in 20103. With the ratification, it cements these efforts that will be done in collaboration with tripartite partners to safeguard workers against work-related injuries and ill health.”
  5. Director-General Elect of the ILO, Mr Guy Ryder, welcomed Singapore’s ratification of Convention No. 187, saying “Singapore can now take advantage of an international instrument and a normative system which will guide implementation of its comprehensive WSH Strategy 2018. Singapore joins other member States that have made a formal commitment to apply the Convention, and becomes the fourth country in Asia to do so.”
  6. Singapore is the 23rd ILO member state to ratify this Convention. Other member states that have ratified the Convention include Germany, Finland, United Kingdom and Sweden. Upon lodging of the Formal Instrument of Ratification with the ILO, Singapore will be required to comply with the requirements of C187 twelve months thereafter.

Annex A

Factsheet On ILO Promotional Framework for Occupational Safety and Health Convention, C187

C187 is an International Labour Organization (ILO) labour standard aimed at establishing and implementing coherent national policies on Occupational Safety and health (OSH), and promoting a preventive safety and health culture through effective collaboration with tripartite partners4. Member states that ratify C187 are required to establish a framework within which OSH can be promoted. The Convention serves to foster political commitment to develop national OSH policies, systems, programmes and profiles to promote a culture of continuous improvement of OSH to prevent occupational injuries, diseases and deaths in workplaces.

1 The ILO C187 was first adopted at the 95th International Labour Conference (ILC) in June 2006. IT is a broad-based OSH Convention that focuses on the promotion of the continuous improvement of OSH.

2 Singapore has launched its national plan of action on WSH in April 2009. This was jointly developed by the Ministry of Manpower and the WSH Council, in consultation with the tripartite partners in Singapore and other industry stakeholders.

3 Singapore signed the Seoul Declaration in 2010, supporting its belief that the continuous improvement of working conditions is of paramount importance and the right to safe and healthy working conditions should be recognized as a fundamental human right.

4 Details on the requirements of the ILO C187 is available here: