Skip to main content

Speech at Launch of the Construction Safety Audit Scoring System (ConSASS)

Mr Hawazi Daipi, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Manpower, Singapore Contractors Association Limited Construction House

Mr Eugene Yong, Chairman, Workplace Safety & Health Construction Advisory Subcommittee

Key stakeholders of the construction industry

Good Afternoon

I am pleased to join you for today's launch of the Construction Safety Audit Scoring System or ConSASS for short.

Rapid Growth in the Construction Industry

2.   One only need pass by major development projects like those at Marina Bay, Orchard Road and Sentosa, to get a sense of the intensity of construction activity in Singapore today. Cranes, trucks and excavators are everywhere in large numbers. Indeed, figures recently released by the Building and Construction Authority show that the construction contract value this year is forecast at between $19 to $22 billion. This is a huge jump from the $11.3 billion awarded to construction projects in 2005.

3.   With such bright prospects and increasing work activity, we need to be even more vigilant about safety risks at the workplace and continue to build stronger capabilities to manage them.

Implementing WSH2015 in Construction Industry

4.   The good news is that we are not starting from scratch. We already have a workplace safety and health blueprint developed by the Construction Subcommittee of the Workplace Safety and Health Advisory Committee earlier this year. Guided by this blueprint, the efforts of the Subcommittee in mobilising different stakeholders to improve safety and health standards have also been intensified.

5.   For example, since the Subcommittee's formation, over 20 sharing sessions have been organised to discuss the latest safety and health developments and emerging challenges. These include areas such as work-at-height and work involving lifting equipment identified under MOM's Programme-Based Engagement initiative. These efforts have helped to enhance the industry's capability to reduce risks of accidents.

6.   We are beginning to see a greater commitment to enhance workplace safety and health standards throughout the industry. In particular, I am heartened to note that a new Marina Bay workgroup was recently formed under the Subcommittee. This workgroup was initiated and driven by the many construction stakeholders in the Marina Bay Area. Members of the workgroup include developers such as Marina Bay Sands, City Development Limited and Land Transport Authority and the major contractors like Woh Hup, Gammon, Kajima and Tiong Seng. This industry-led workgroup shares safety and health information and coordinates its risk management measures. It has also set itself the target of zero fatality. This is the right mindset. One life lost is a life too many. I congratulate the workgroup on its commitment and ownership and hope that this is the start of new partnerships amongst industry stakeholders to inspire better WSH performance.

CONSASS – A key for sustainable WSH improvements

7.   For any workplace safety and health improvements to be sustainable, they must be seen as being integral to good business practices. This is how ConSASS, which is an audit tool for safety management systems, is being positioned. First, ConSASS can be used by developers to assess the safety management capabilities of contractors during procurement. Second, contractors can make use of the ConSASS scorecard as a business tool to systematically identify areas of weakness in safety management and take practical measures to improve their scores.

8.   Although ConSASS is a voluntary system, it already has the support of many industry stakeholders. For a start, developer City Development Limited and contractors like Foster Wheeler, Straits Construction and Gammon Construction have pledged their support. Government agencies like LTA and HDB have also committed to getting their contractors on board. The Construction Subcommittee will continue to build on this momentum and work closely with their stakeholders to promote the use of ConSASS in the industry. This will eventually create a culture where WSH becomes an integral part of business.

9.   I am pleased to put on record my appreciation of the Construction Subcommittee's leadership and commitment in developing this system, which is a key milestone in improving workplace safety in construction. It has been a fruitful journey from conceptualising and developing the system to securing commitment from the industry. Much time had been spent on pilot-testing ConSASS to ensure that it is robust, relevant and useful for the industry. More than 50 auditors have also been trained to use the system.

WSH Council – Taking the lead

10.   While the Construction Subcommittee has made commendable progress, we look forward to the development of even stronger industry workplace safety and health capabilities when the new Workplace Safety and Health Council is formed in April next year. The industry-led Council will have expanded roles in leading the setting of acceptable safety and health practices, building industry capability, and promoting a stronger workplace safety culture. It will play the role of the vanguard for workplace safety and health excellence in not only construction but across industry.


11.   Once again, I would like to thank the Construction Sub-Committee for its efforts to enhance workplace safety and health standards in the Construction Industry over the past two years. With the transition of the WSH advisory committee into a council, more exciting times lie ahead. With such strong industry involvement, I believe that it will only be a matter of time before Singapore becomes a centre of excellence in construction workplace safety and health. Thank you.