Important for employers to prepare staff for terror attacks: Sam Tan


SINGAPORE - There were shouts and a flurry of activity as workers at Panasonic Appliances Refrigeration Devices Singapore reacted to a "terror" incident on Tuesday morning (May 16).

An "intruder" had thrown a Molotov cocktail into the company's Liquid Petroleum gas storage area which caused an explosion and a blaze.

The Panasonic Company Emergency Response Team (CERT) geared up and responded to the situation before the police and Singapore Civil Defence Force arrived to secure and manage the scene.

The "attack" was fortunately part of a simulated exercise initiated by the Bedok Safety Group (BSG), a volunteer group that promotes Occupational Safety and Health.

The exercise showcased the growing importance of the SGSecure movement at workplaces which are not spared from the threat of terrorism, said Minister of State for Manpower Sam Tan who gave a speech before the exercise.

"We must not be complacent and depend only on security agencies to prepare and respond against terror attacks," he said.

"SGSecure is a collective responsibility to safeguard Singapore and protect Singaporeans, and we can all do our part to achieve this objective."

To prevent terrorism from disrupting businesses and affecting employee morale, Mr Tan said it was important for employers to train selected personnel in first aid and life-saving skills, strengthen workplace security and develop community networks with neighbouring businesses to boost vigilance.

More than 80 representatives from 14 member companies of the BSG attended the event which was the first simulated exercise to be conducted in an industrial premise.

BSG chairman Steven Tan, 42, said it was important for employees be prepared in the event of a terror act.

"During peacetime, we should take the opportunity to enhance our response plans, address all possible gaps and share best practices among the community of like-minded organisations.

"We must also strengthen the cohesiveness in our workforce so that we can continue to preserve our strong sense of unity in the face of terror attacks."