- The 5th meeting of the International Advisory Panel (IAP) for Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) was held on 23 and 25 August 2016 at the Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre. During the meeting, the IAP engaged in discussions with members of the WSH Council, WSH Institute and key industry leaders on Singapore’s overall WSH performance and the WSH 2018 Plus plan to bring Singapore back on track to achieve WSH 2018 targets (Please refer Annex A for details of the WSH 2018 Plus plan).
IAP’s recommendations to advance Singapore’s WSH performance
- At the opening of the WSH Conference 2016, Minister Lim Swee Say introduced the national WSH 2018 Plus plan with three key priorities:
(i) Improving WSH Performance in the Construction Industry;
(ii) Strengthening WSH Competency; and
(iii) Building Collective WSH Ownership
- The IAP made the following recommendations in support of the WSH 2018 Plus plan:
- Leverage on the construction industry supply chain to influence better WSH behaviours;
- Raise the competency of front line supervisors to drive WSH improvements on the ground;
- Recognise the learning opportunities and importance of minor injuries and near misses in driving a preventive WSH Mindset;
- Boards of Directors to become champions of WSH and drive change;
- Empower industry to elevate WSH competency of their workforce beyond statutory requirements;
- Manage the WSH challenges posed by the particular nature of Singapore’s workforce such as the ageing workforce and migrant workers;
- Strengthen the injury prevention and return to work focus in Work Injury Compensation;
- Place equal emphasis on safety and health; and
- Encourage more industry-led initiatives to engender greater industry ownership.
Please refer to the full report of the IAP’s recommendations in Annex B.
IAP urges Singapore to drive greater Collective Ownership of WSH outcomes
- Beyond focusing on fatal and major injuries, the IAP emphasised the need for companies to recognise the importance of tracking and analysing minor injuries and near-misses to drive a preventive WSH mindset. The IAP added that Singapore should continue to explore avenues across the construction supply chain to shape the safety and health culture of suppliers and sub-contractors to influence better WSH behaviours on the ground.
- Minister Lim Swee Say said, “Improving WSH is a journey with no end. We have come a long way in improving Singapore’s WSH outcomes, but there will always be more that can be done. We need a workforce competent in managing WSH, at all levels, and a collective effort from everyone - Government, companies, employers and workers - to build a preventive WSH culture.”
- IAP member, Mr Kevin Myers, President of International Association of Labour Inspection (IALI), said, “As decision makers, senior management of large corporations can be influential in creating a strong safety and health culture within their organisation. They can also use their commercial influence to shape the WSH culture of their sub-contractors and suppliers along the supply chain.”
Government accepts IAP’s Recommendations
- Minister of State for Manpower Sam Tan, on behalf of the Government, has accepted the recommendations of the IAP at the WSH Conference on 25 August 2016. Mr Tan thanked the IAP members for their valuable insights. He noted that the recommendations will help shape the strategies to improve Singapore’s WSH standards over the next few years, and the Ministry will work closely with the tripartite partners and industry to ensure its successful implementation.