All stakeholders must take workplace safety seriously

I was deeply saddened to read that workplace fatalities are on the rise and that the fatality rate is projected to hit a high of 2.2 this year ("Workplace fatality rate set to rise this year"; yesterday).

There are many stakeholders who can help to improve the general safety of construction workers at the workplace.

First, as was suggested in yesterday's report, the Government can incorporate more safety considerations in public construction tenders.

Efforts by the Government to reinforce and monitor safety at construction sites must also continue.

Additionally, as more elderly people continue to work, to support longer lifespans, it is important to redesign their jobs to reduce the potential of workplace injuries or deaths.

Next, companies should take ownership of their workers' safety and carry out thorough risk assessments, as required by the authorities.

They should not undermine workplace safety just for the sake of gaining profits.

Lastly, workers themselves should be aware of potential safety hazards at the workplace.

Furthermore, if workers have any medical conditions, such as heart disease or hypertension, it is the worker's responsibility to inform his supervisor about his condition. Supervisors must then ensure such workers are given sufficient rest during work.

Such a holistic approach among the Government, companies and individuals can potentially help lower the rate of workplace deaths.

Zhu Xinle (Miss)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 26, 2016, with the headline 'All stakeholders must take workplace safety seriously'. Print Edition | Subscribe