SINGAPORE - The Goverment has accepted the recommendations of the International Advisory Panel (IAP) for Workplace Safety and Health (WSH).
In a press release, the Ministry of Manpower said that the IAP focused on two strategic thrusts to enhance Singapore's WSH performance: Total WSH - implementing a comprehensive and integrated approach to managing WSH holistically, and Vision Zero - shaping mindsets that all work injuries and ill health are preventable.
The IAP, which held its fourth meeting in Singapore between May 6 and 8, was formed by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) in 2006 to tap on the expertise and experience of international experts to raise Singapore's WSH standards.
Speaking at an industry plenary session on 8 May 2014, IAP Co-Chair Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Hawazi Daipi said, "We are grateful to the IAP for their recommendations on adopting a Vision Zero mindset and implementing Total WSH in Singapore.
"The IAP's recommendations will guide Singapore's efforts toward building a systemic culture for a zero-accident philosophy and the integration of general health and workplace health through the Total WSH approach. We will work closely with key stakeholders to implement the recommendations".
The IAP also commended Singapore for improving WSH standards and outcomes, and embarking on strategies and programmes to address WSH challenges upstream.
IAP member Prof Ken Takahashi, Chair of the Department of Environmental Epidemiology at Japan's University of Occupational and Environmental Health said, "Singapore has embraced bold, new ideas such as Total WSH and Vision Zero, and has started to reflect them in national policies. Singapore should continue sharing its experiences and engaging in discussions at international meetings.
The panel also noted that while much had been achieved at the national level, Singapore should be mindful of the WSH challenges that the construction industry faces, and should continue to implement WSH strategies to bring about quantum improvements in WSH performance in the industry.
Following a review of Singapore's WSH performance, the IAP made eight recommendations:
a. Instil greater WSH ownership by developers and clients in the construction sector
b. Strengthen the link between WSH performance and business outcomes
c. Integrate WSH with employee well-being
d. Build capabilities to support implementation of Total WSH
e. Better monitoring of workplace health data
f. Facilitate mindset change through Vision Zero Leaders
g. Develop performance measures to track the progress of the Vision Zero mindset movement
h. Provide a compelling case for Vision Zero