Study to help firms understand better contractors' safety record

A committee tasked with charting a comprehensive 10-year blueprint in making Singapore workplaces safer and healthier is studying ways to help companies and developers better understand the track record of contractors when deciding on project tenders.

Mr John Ng, chairman of the Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Council, said this is one of the ideas being discussed by the WSH2028 Tripartite Strategy Committee, which was announced by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) earlier this year.

"This will encourage more contractors to invest in improving their safety and health track record," he added in a Facebook post yesterday.

Speaking at the WSH awards ceremony yesterday, Manpower Minister Josephine Teo cited how some companies now require their sub-contractors to have bizSAFE Level 3 certification as a minimum - a practice that government agencies already adopt in awarding public construction project tenders.

"When the customer imposes such a requirement, it reinforces the importance of safety and health in the workplace," she added.

"Both sides also stand to gain from reduced downtime due to accidents or costs incurred because of safety lapses."

Both Mr Ng and Mrs Teo said the idea stems from a recurring theme in discussions between the committee and stakeholders like employers, unions and workers from different industries, which was that senior management should take the lead in driving WSH.

At this year's awards organised by the WSH Council and MOM, the Keppel Group emerged as the top winner, bagging 28 out of the 158 awards.

Mrs Teo said the efforts of the companies and individuals who received the awards have helped ensure that over 150,000 workers could go home safely each day.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 01, 2018, with the headline Study to help firms understand better contractors' safety record. Subscribe