Healthy workplace programmes reach out to over 300,000 workers

SINGAPORE - A committee set up to improve health and safety among workers has released its report card after three years of work.

The verdict: More than 300,000 workers have been part of healthy workplace programmes so far - but there is still much work to be done.

Over the past three years, the Tripartite Oversight Committee on Workplace Health has been trying to get as many workers as possible to live more healthily.

Their efforts included pilot programmes such as check-ups for older workers in occupations that are often overlooked in outreach efforts, such as bus and taxi drivers. They have also partnered with landlords to organise workplace workouts and introduce healthier dishes in canteens.

The committee includes representatives from the Health and Manpower Ministries, Health Promotion Board, and Workplace Safety and Health Council.

It is jointly chaired by Minister of State for Manpower Sam Tan and Senior Minister of State for Health Amy Khor.

There are 3.6 million workers in Singapore, seven in 10 of which are employed by small and medium-sized enterprises. Health Ministry statistics show that working-aged people are typically in worse health than the general population.

In a briefing on Thursday morning, the committee said that it will be reconvening for another three-year period.

This second committee will focus on high-risk industries, scaling up outreach to mature workers, and reaching out to companies that may be more geographically spread out.