New plan to provide better access to health programmes at the workplace

SINGAPORE - A new three-pronged framework has been launched by the Tripartite Oversight Committee (TOC) on Workplace Health to give more workers access to health programmes at the workplace.

The strategic thrusts under the framework are:

1. Innovative partnerships with developers and businesses to engineer greater efficiencies in the delivery of workplace health and safety programmes

2. Targeted and customised interventions to reach mature workers who currently have limited access to health programmes

3. Holistic workplace health and safety through the Total Workplace Safety and Health (TWSH) approach

Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State for Health and Manpower, and Chairman of the TOC said: "As our population ages and as more Singaporeans remain in the workforce longer, it is even more important to promote health, well-being and safety at the workplace."

The TOC on Workplace Health aims to develop innovative, holistic, and needs-based programmes instead of a one-size-fits-all model to effectively reach out to more sectors of the workforce, she added.

The TOC aims to reach 120,000 workers by the end of March 2016 by working together with developers and businesses, the Health Promotion Board said in a statement on Wednesday. It also intends to reach 11,000 mature workers with industry-specific solutions and pilot interventions. These will be based on the health risks and needs, work nature and lifestyles of the mature workers in different sectors.

Through the ecosystem approach, demand can be aggregated so that workers at co-located work sites and those employed by small and medium enterprises may also enjoy on-site health and safety services and programmes, healthier dining options, and participate in roadshows on healthy living.

The first Healthy Workplace Ecosystem was unveiled in 2013 at Mapletree Business City (MBC). Today, 1 in 3 MBC employees are actively participating in the Healthy Workplace Ecosystem programmes.

One-north, master-planned and developed by JTC Corporation, is the newest and largest business park which has implemented the Healthy Workplace Ecosystem.

The TOC is planning to introduce more occupational safety and health elements, such as good ergonomic practices in the next phase. The committee also plans to roll out customised health and safety programmes to workers in industrial estates to make it easier for them to participate in such activities.