The International Advisory Panel (IAP) for Workplace Safety and Health (WSH)1 convened in Singapore from 17 to 18 November for its 3rd meeting to discuss key strategies to enhance Singapore’s WSH performance.
The dialogue, spearheaded by the Ministry of Manpower and supported by the WSH Council, focused on two strategic thrusts: to build and sustain a pervasive and progressive WSH culture in Singapore, and the roles and functions of the WSH Institute2 in creating and enhancing WSH knowledge in Singapore.
IAP’s Nine Recommendations to Singapore
During an industry plenary session on 18th November attended by some 150 industry leaders, the IAP unveiled a comprehensive report with nine key recommendations to enhance Singapore’s WSH performance. Key highlights of the recommendations include:
• Singapore to place greater emphasis on addressing Occupational Health issues
• Businesses should work towards their vision of zero accidents with concrete action plans
• Singapore to become a leading centre in Asia to identify new and emerging occupational safety and health risks through the WSH Institute.
• Ensure sustainability of WSH Institute through strong partnership with stakeholders
• Further enhance Singapore’s WSH framework to track WSH performance
• Engender a culture focused on general safety and health from young
• Government to take the lead in WSH culture building
• Leadership is key to WSH culture building
• Workers should take personal ownership of WSH outcomes
The full report with detailed recommendations is in Annex C.
Government accepts IAP’s recommendations
In response to the IAP’s recommendations, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Hawazi Daipi thanked the IAP members for their contributions over the two days. He added that the Ministry will work closely with key stakeholders to implement the recommendations successfully.
IAP commends Singapore’s WSH standards
Following intensive review of Singapore’s WSH performance, the IAP commended Singapore for great strides made in improving its’ WSH standards over the past six years. The IAP noted that Singapore has implemented comprehensive measures to raise WSH standards and heighten awareness to lower fatality rates to 2.2 fatalities per 100,000 workers in 2010 compared to 3.1 fatalities per 100,000 workers in 2006.
The IAP cautioned that as WSH standards in Singapore has reached a level comparable to many developed nations, it will be typical to see a slowdown in the progress, as marginal gains become more challenging to achieve. The IAP noted that this should not discourage Singapore from pressing ahead with WSH strategies.
1The IAP was formed by Ministry of Manpower (MOM) in 2006 for Singapore to tap on the expertise and experience of international experts to raise WSH standards. The IAP is chaired by the Minister of State for National Development and Manpower, Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, and co-chaired by the Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Hawazi Daipi. The IAP comprises renowned WSH experts with wide-ranging regulatory and industry experience. Please see Annex A and Annex B for more information on the IAP.
2The Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Institute is a key initiative to build strong WSH capabilities in Singapore. The Institute aims to deepen stakeholders’ understanding of current and emerging work environments, and processes. It will study workers’ behaviour, determine the best ways to shape WSH, and use such knowledge to develop solutions and improve WSH practices.
Annex A – Profile of IAP Members
Annex B – Information on 1st and 2nd IAP Meetings
Annex C – Report of the 3rd Meeting of the International Advisory Panel for Workplace Safety and Health (17 November – 18 November 2011)