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Speech at Singapore Contractors Association Ltd's Foreign Workers' Carnival

Mr Sam Tan Minister of State for Manpower, SCAL Recreation Centre

Mr Kenneth Loo, President, SCAL
Mr Lee Kay Chai, Mr Roy Khoo, Mr Yong Jian Rong, Council Members, SCAL
Mr Lam Kong Hong, Executive Director, SCAL
A very good morning to all of you,

  1. It is my pleasure to attend this morning’s carnival with so many of you. For this, I would like to thank the Singapore Contractors Association Ltd (SCAL) and the more than 20 construction firms that came together to organise this meaningful event for our foreign workers.
  2. As you know, Prime Minister announced the Cabinet reshuffle earlier this week. Following the reshuffle, I will be moving from the Ministry of Manpower to the Ministry of Social and Family Development from 1 May, which is just 2 days away. Hence, this is my last speech on Workplace Safety and Health, a subject that is very close to my heart. Starting next month, Minister of State Mr Zaqy Mohamad will be the new Mr WSH. He will be working closely with all the stakeholders to continue our efforts to make Singapore a safer and healthier workplace for our workers.
  3. Eliminating workplace accidents is a collective responsibility of employers, workers, people sector and public sector. So apart from SCAL and the 20 construction companies, which represent the private sector, the Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Council and National Kidney Foundation (NKF) are also participating in today’s carnival. Our foreign workers come from far and wide to build world-class physical infrastructures in Singapore. It is only right that we provide a safe and healthy working environment for them.
  4. We can all agree that prevention is better than cure. For WSH, prevention includes reporting “Near Misses” at workplaces by anyone who spots such incidents to the management, and for the management to take quick actions to remove the dangers. When safety measures are put in place before accidents even happen, workers can be assured of safer and healthier workplaces. At the WSH Council booth, participants can find out more about how to do so using WSH Council’s app, SnapSAFE. SnapSAFE has been enhanced to allow for in-company reporting. This means that every time a near-miss incident happens, workers can report it to the management immediately through the app. This is a good way for companies to cultivate a culture of safety as everyone is encouraged to take ownership of safe practices. I urge all companies to register with the app today!
  5. The MOM has also set up a booth to educate workers on what to do when they get injured, and the help available to them. I encourage workers and employers alike to help themselves to the brochures, available in English, Chinese, Tamil and Bengali, to learn more about the support that is available to them.
  6. Lastly, and most importantly, I would like to commend all the workers here today. Working in the construction sector is by no means an easy task. This event is our way of showing our appreciation to you for your service and contribution. It is also an opportunity for you to enjoy the various activities and at the same time learn more about how you can do your part to make your workplace safer and healthier for yourself and your fellow workers.
  7. On this note, I wish all of you an enjoyable and wonderful Sunday. Thank you.