Don't cut corners on safety at work

Accidents at workplaces are not something any employer wants. But some employers may not be doing enough to avoid them (I will never walk again; April 30).

It is essential for employers and stakeholders to be committed to a safe working environment. Lapses take place when people do not walk-the-talk.

If a contract's profit margin is low, cutting corners on safety and environmental measures is a likelihood.

Specifying clear and precise safety requirements will align the contractor's system to the developer's corporate social responsibilities.

One good solution for employers is to engage Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) professionals.

They can assist employers in implementing and reviewing the workplace's safety and health management systems.

A WSH professional not only looks at general requirements but also considers what he can do to lead change, add value and transform safety management.

Of course, hiring them and following WSH procedures would cost the company.

So, many employers choose to recruit candidates with just basic certification and the lowest salary expectations.

When deciding on culpability in accidents, one of the key considerations a court looks at is the reasonably practicable control measures the employer had implemented.

Safety should be made a priority; the consequences are painful.

Han Wenqi

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 10, 2017, with the headline 'Don't cut corners on safety at work'. Print Edition | Subscribe