Singapore to Become World-class in Workplace Safety and Health Practices for Better Business Opportunities
The working life takes up more than half of your entire life. In a lifetime, people change workplaces and work environments for better prospects. Thus, work plays a significant role in promoting a haven to brainstorm for ideas, to negotiate terms with confidence or even to execute high-risk tasks. With this in mind, Singapore aims to elevate its workplace safety and health (WSH) performance to a world-class level.
World Class Workplace Safety and Health Milestones
The Workplace Safety and Health Tripartite Strategies Committee aims for the following milestones achievable before 2028:-
- Fewer workplace injuries – Currently, the fatal injury rate is 1.4 per 100,000 workers, and the aim is to reduce it to less than 1.0 per 100,000 workers. A 30% reduction in fatal & major injury rates.
- Reduce exposure to hazards leading to occupational diseases – The aim is to increase the share of workplaces that adapt upstream noise and chemical hazard controls.
- Expand workforce health promotion to half of all employees benefiting from workplace health promotion activities
- Improve WSH culture to reflect the culture of prevention to 75% of employees in high-risk industries.
Employers often regard WSH as costly and minimise as much as possible, usually disregarding its business impacts. The committee, however, urges employers to acknowledge that having good WSH is excellent for business. This is so that companies will cultivate a better prevention culture and sustain it if they are self-motivated to improve their WSH outcomes. The committee recommends that companies publish their WSH outcomes so that service buyers can make better decisions. Companies are also advised to share their WSH data with insurers so that safer companies can enjoy cheaper premiums. More reliable companies can benefit from government contracts as their strong WSH records will give them a competitive edge.
Another concern of the committee is that employers lack health promotion activities. Employers in general regard that employee health is none of their business. Every sick worker affects the whole work environment, eventually leading to upsetting the business. Thus, employers should create a conducive workplace that promotes good health. This will benefit everyone in the same working space. The committee further recommends companies to develop practical job adaptations so that workers with a chronic health condition can continue working safely. It also suggests to expand WSH programmes to cater to both injury prevention and health promotion. Both of which can easily be measured assessed periodically to establish excellent WSH outcomes. Currently, WSH officers are trained in injury prevention. The committee suggests that WSH officers should also be trained in identifying potential health problem.
Business growth and development genuinely rely on the workforce. Caring for their well-being and safety will create a ripple effect as these workers will be at their peak performance for the greater good of the business performance. For the bigger picture, Singapore will then be known for its excellent safe and healthy workplaces.