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Speech at Closing Ceremony of The World Congress on Safety and Health at Work

Mr Hawazi Daipi, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Manpower and Education, Harmony Hall, Frankfurt Congress Centre, Frankfurt, Germany

Dr Rainhardt Freiherr von Leoprechting, Chair, Governing Committee of the German Social Accident Insurance
Mr Manfred Wirsch, Chair, Governing Committee of the Germany Social Accident Insurance

Dr Walter Eichendorf, President of the World Congress 2014

Mr Errol Frank Stoové, President, International Social Security Association

Mr Hans-Horst Konkolewsky, Secretary General, International Social Security Association

Ms Nancy Leppink, Director LABOR/ADMIN, International Labour Organisation

Heads of Occupational Safety and Health Authorities
Distinguished guests,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Good Afternoon or Guten Tag,

  1. I would like to begin by congratulating Dr Eichendorf and his DGUV team for the successful organisation of World Congress 2014. I have heard nothing but praise from many delegates. Germany has been an excellent host over the past few days, and I believe all delegates will agree with me that we have enjoyed our time in Frankfurt. So congratulations and thank you.
  2. Singapore has the honour of hosting the 21st World Congress on Safety and Health at Work in 2017. As you can see from the green bag that we are going to bring home, it is heavy, it has got a lot of experience and knowledge that we will definitely put to good use. We will also have large shoes to fill. At the same time, we look forward to this unique opportunity for Singapore to contribute to enhancing and advancing the global agenda on Occupational Safety and Health. The World Congress is an important international platform for all policy makers, employers, union representatives as well as occupational safety and health experts and practitioners to discuss and brainstorm ideas. This helps us to develop new policies, programmes and initiatives to improve safety and health in workplaces across the globe. We look forward to working with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the International Social Security Association (ISSA) to bring the World Congress to Southeast Asia for the first time.
  3. Singapore takes occupational safety and health very seriously as we want and we need to protect our workers so that they can return home safely to their families every day. Every death and injury means families suffer. We believe that government, employers and workers must do their best to instill safety consciousness and safe practices in all our workplaces.
  4. Singapore’s Workplace Safety and Health Institute estimated that the economic costs of work-related injury and illness were equivalent to 3.2% of Singapore’s GDP in 2011. Having good safety and health practices therefore makes business sense as it reduces costs, increases productivity and enhances corporate reputation. We have made encouraging progress over the past decade, and more companies and workers appreciate the importance of occupational safety and health. However, we are not resting on our laurels and are committed to doing more to improve our standards.
  5. Over the past few days, we have shared our vision for Sustainable Prevention and the concept of Vision Zero. Vision Zero is about the adoption of a mindset that all injuries and ill-health arising from work is preventable. Vision Zero calls for a paradigm shift at every level of an organisation, from one of fault finding, to one that focuses on finding solutions to prevent injuries and ill-health. This can only be achieved with everyone’s cooperation.
  6. Striving towards Vision Zero will take centrestage in World Congress 2017 in Singapore. Let us use that occasion to share insights, learn from each other and work towards taking concrete actions to realise Vision Zero in our respective countries. I look forward to meeting you all again in Singapore at Marina Bay Sands from 3 to 6 September 2017. Let me now introduce Singapore to you through a short video clip.