Speech at CDL Cares – CDL 5-Star EHS Awards
Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, Minister for Manpower , Bishan Stadium
Mr Chia Ngiang Hong, Group GM, CDL
Mr Anthony Chia, Executive VP, Projects, CDL
Mr Kelly Tan, Senior VP, Projects, CDL
Ladies and Gentlemen
- Good morning. I am happy to join you all today.
- First, let me offer my congratulations to today’s award recipients. I am told that CDL has given out these Environment, Health and Safety Awards annually since 2004 to recognise their contractors’ efforts in keeping workplaces healthy, safe and environmentally friendly. This is a very commendable effort that reflects CDL’s management recognition that creating a safe work environment is critical to the success of their business. Well done and please keep up the good work!
- When I received the invitation, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the format was not a typical award ceremony or gala dinner. Instead, CDL has created the opportunity for all stakeholders to gather, play soccer and socialise. The exercise and the company of our friends and colleagues today will surely give us a good workout and help us bond as a team.
Developers’ role in WSH
- Today’s event demonstrates CDL’s continued focus on Workplace Safety and Health, or WSH. Achieving good WSH outcomes should not be seen as a trade-off to bottomlines or meeting deadlines. Good WSH habits protect lives and keep our workers healthy so that they can return home safely and healthily at the end of every work day. This is the best way to retain your workers and maximise productivity.
- Developers have a major role to play in improving WSH performance. Developers have to take an interest beyond designing a building for aesthetics and function; they need to also take a preventive approach during the design and project management stage to ensure that adequate resources are provided for the construction of a safe building.
MOM to hold public consultation on DfS regulations
- Earlier this year, the Government announced that it would mandate Design for Safety, or DfS, for construction projects. DfS will require developers to ensure that their building designs are safe and address work-related risks and hazards upstream. If we can eliminate hazards right from the start at the design and planning phase, then there will be fewer risks that we have to with deal during the construction and maintenance stage. We need to get it right from the start. The Ministry of Manpower has conducted industry consultations, and will be holding a public consultation exercise on the draft DfS regulations next week.
Fostering culture of care
- Other than safety, health, too, is an integral but oft overlooked part of WSH. A key initiative that MOM has introduced, together with the WSH Institute and WSH Council, is Total WSH, an approach that integrates workplace safety, workplace health and worker well-being to improve the quality of our workers’ lives.
- This year’s National WSH Campaign, “How you work is how you live”, puts Total WSH in perspective for us. It is message that that health and safety have equal impact on our quality of life outside of work. The habits that we form at work and the risks that we take have a significant impact not only on our lives, but our colleagues, our friends and our families.
- Take for example, a worker who works at height and has poorly managed high blood pressure. As a result of not taking his medication as prescribed, the worker may put himself and co-workers at risk when he suffers from headaches and dizziness due to his elevated blood pressure.
- Beyond good workplace health practices such as annual health screenings and healthy meal options, we should focus on fostering a culture of care. Employers and managers should actively engage their workers to better understand the medical illnesses and issues that they face, encourage them to take their medication regularly and monitor their state of health. Work arrangements can also be adjusted to improve the health of workers.
Going beyond WSH and environment standards
- Clearly, CDL has set its sights beyond high WSH and environment standards. It has also shown its commitment to the culture of care - that the role of developers should extend to the well being of all workers, including foreign workers.
- I am happy that CDL and its contractors will be signing a pledge later today, to commit to providing good living and working conditions for their foreign workers. I hope other developers and contractors will follow suit and provide their workers with the assurance that their well being will be taken care of.
- All of us have a role to play in ensuring the safety and health of our lives and those around us. It starts from us adopting a mindset that all accidents and ill-health are preventable. Only through a zero tolerance towards accidents and ill-health, will we be able to achieve our goal of ensuring everyone goes home safe and sound.
- Thank you.