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WSH requirements in public sector construction and construction-related projects

From 1 April 2024, companies participating in public sector construction and construction-related projects will be subjected to these requirements.

Harmonised Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) requirements across public sector projects

WSH requirements are harmonised across public sector projects to make it easier for service buyers and suppliers to champion WSH.

Extension of the Safety Disqualification Framework

From 1 April 2024, all public construction and construction-related tenders will be subjected to the Safety Disqualification (SDQ) Framework, where tenderers with poor WSH performance will be temporarily disqualified from tendering for public sector projects.

For project sums between $90,000 to $1million, the SDQ is applicable to main contractors only.

For project sums above $1million,the SDQ is applicable to main contractors and all level of subcontractors working in the project.

Main contractors are required to:

  • Ensure that the SDQ framework is complied with
  • Rectify any non-compliance to the SDQ framework, for example, by removing any disqualified subcontractor which was appointed (if found to be disqualified on the date specified in the letter of award)

Main contractors or subcontractors who are disqualified cannot be engaged for the projects.

Main contractors can use CheckSafe to conduct checks throughout the construction stage to ensure their contractors are not disqualified.

Include standardised safety requirements as Conditions of Contract

Standardised safety requirements covering the following areas are to be included in the Conditions of Contract for public sector construction and construction-related project sums above $1million:

  • Identify and implement WSH training that is specific to the site’s activities and workers on site.
  • Exercise enhanced safety commitment by periodically reporting WSH performance, organising engagement sessions and implementing improvement plans for poor-performing subcontractors.
  • Conduct risk assessments and ensure compliance to method statements by all subcontractors.

Main contractors are required to put in place a system to ensure compliance to these requirements across subcontractors at all levels to spread WSH culture as they work on the project.

Beyond upstream measures such as the SDQ Framework, Government agencies would place greater emphasis on safety-related criteria when evaluating and selecting contractors.

The minimum weightage for safety-related criteria in construction tenders of project sums above $1million will be at 5%. For contracts that are evaluated using the BCA's Price Quality Method (PQM) framework, the minimum weightage for safety-related criteria will be at 15% of the ‘Quality’ weightage or 5% of the overall PQM score, whichever is higher.

To encourage contractors to consider and propose safety enhancements, the scope of the criteria will be expanded beyond safety performance. For example, Government agencies may require tenderers to submit innovative proposals related to WSH.

Introduce measures to incentivise good WSH standards

We encourage the use of technology to enhance safety, as well as good WSH practices among companies by introducing the following measures.

Adoption of mature WSH technology

To encourage the use of technology for enhancing safety and boosting productivity on-site, companies will be required to adopt mature WSH technology when tendering for public sector construction and construction-related projects of project sums at or above $3million.

The technology should include all of the following:

  • Electronic Permit-To-Work System (ePTW) which allows full visibility of ongoing high-risk activities and identifies conflicting works
  • Vehicular Safety Technology (VST) which detects and manages driver or operator fatigue, and minimises potential collisions and accidents

Adoption of WSH Bonus Scheme

The WSH Bonus Scheme will be administered by Government agencies to incentivise strong safety performance and culture throughout the construction phase of project sums at or above $50million.

Under this scheme, contractors working on projects meeting certain criteria set by the Government agencies may receive a bonus for achieving and maintaining high standards of workplace safety and health practices.

As good WSH performance is a collective effort, main contractors should allocate a portion of the WSH Bonus to reward workers, including direct and indirect subcontractors engaged by the main contractor, to recognise the efforts of on-site workers in upholding good safety standards.

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