Singapore government is adopting new strategy in order to improve workplace safety and motivate companies by telling them how they fare compare with others in the industry.
Speaking at the opening of the biennial Singapore Workplace Safety and Health Conference on Wednesday (Aug 29), Manpower Minister Josephine Teo said this new method will bring new dimensions to MOM’s surprise inspections. While MOM has been working to deter lapses via inspections, it might no longer need to inspect every single company all the time in the future.
According to Mrs Teo, the new method was found to encourage companies to reassess safety practices in all their worksites. Piloted over six months last year and involved about 180 construction companies across the country, Mrs Teo said there are plans to expand the pilot.
As part of the pilot, companies were sorted into four bands based on enforcement action they received over the past three years. These include stop-work orders, composition fines and notices of non-compliance. The companies’ bosses were informed of their safety performance. Besides identifying lapses, inspectors would also point out root causes of safety issues, advising companies on how to take action.
Mrs Teo also outlined the preliminary recommendations by a Tripartite Strategy Committee convened earlier this year to develop a 10-year plan improving workplace safety and health. Singapore had an average workplace fatal injury rate of 2.1 over the past decade and achieved a record low rate of 1.2 last year. The aim is to reduce and maintain the rate at less than one for every 100,000 workers from 2018 to 2028, The New Paper reports.
There are three potential areas of improvement. One, the workplace safety performance of companies can be more transparent, so buyers of goods and services can compare it across companies when making procurement decisions. Second, experts in safety and health can be trained to manage risks in both areas. Third, technological advancements such as data analytics can be tapped to improve safety.