We thank Mr Rajasegaran Ramasamy for his feedback ("Employers must change mindset on safety"; Forum Online, Sept 6).
We share Mr Ramasamy's view that employers cannot adopt an indifferent attitude towards workplace safety and health (WSH).
Under the WSH Act, employers bear primary responsibility for managing risks at work and have to take full ownership of the safety and health matters of their employees.
The suggestion to have independent WSH officers from the Ministry of Manpower or accredited firms to take charge of WSH at the workplace, therefore, runs counter to the principle of greater industry ownership in safety, health and accident prevention.
The latter is more sustainable, where employers work closely with their WSH officers to drive WSH improvements on the ground, and be committed to this collective effort to nurture a progressive and pervasive WSH culture in their organisations.
Time pressure to complete construction projects within deadlines cannot be an excuse to compromise on the safety and health of workers.
The enactment of the WSH (Design for Safety) Regulations in August will ensure that safety considerations are incorporated into the design and planning of construction projects. This includes ensuring sufficient time and resources are allocated for the safe completion of projects.
We will continue to work closely with all stakeholders, including employers, developers and designers, to ensure the safety of our workers.
We will also be intensifying our outreach to workers so that they can take personal responsibility and know when to report unsafe work practices.
There will be no let-up in our collective efforts to improve WSH performance because every worker deserves to go home safe every day.
Ho Siong Hin
Workplace Safety and Health
Ministry of Manpower