Workplace safety a responsibility for whole firm

The Ministry of Manpower and the Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Council have put in place numerous programmes to promote a positive workplace safety and health culture which should be appreciated and embraced.

However, with 22 workplace deaths from Jan 1 to April 2 this year, all stakeholders, including employers, must ensure that safety must not be compromised and that we must put a stop to workplace deaths ("Safety council urges urgent review in view of a spike in workplace deaths"; ST Online, Monday).

Some of the key areas which we can look at are:

•Safety competency of employees or key appointment holders, for example, lifting supervisors and work-at-height supervisors and assessors;

•Daily pre-use checks of machines, tools and equipment;

•Empowerment of WSH professionals to introduce "safety time-out" sessions when needed;

•Retraining or refresher training of employees to ensure up-to-date information is disseminated to all concerned. For example, all supervisors should attend refresher training once every four years. Certificates for such training should be valid for only four years;

•Top management should assist in building internal capabilities to ensure legal compliance with safety regulations. For example, a corporate WSH department can be formed to "countercheck" site WSH performance;

•Nurturing a positive WSH culture for the long term.

Han Wenqi

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 09, 2016, with the headline 'Workplace safety a responsibility for whole firm'. Print Edition | Subscribe