Forty-five organisations signed a new accord for workplace safety on Monday (Sept 4). The framework is aimed to express commitment to improve occupational health and safety for professionals and practitioners, such that they can carry out the creation and sustainability of healthier and safer workplaces.
This movement is considered as the largest group of its kind to make such pledge globally. Among the participating firms, twelve organisations are from Singapore, including transport operator SMRT and Temasek Polytechnic.
First initiated the Singapore Institution of Safety Officers (Siso) and organised by the International Network of Safety and Health Practitioner Organisations (Inshpo), the Singapore Accord on the Standards of Occupational Health and Safety Professionals calls on worldwide companies to adopt similar framework and promote high standards of practice among health and safety specialists.
The framework is to set to help recruiters create job descriptions for occupational safety and health roles, hire workers, as well as evaluate their performances. It also lists the basic knowledge that specialists should have in several areas such as hazards and risks, safety, and health management, Today Online reports.
Talking in the accord launching at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Chan Chun Sing said that while Singapore has done well in ensuring workplace safety by most global standards, it should not be satisfied with the achievement. He added that there are still many areas that can be improved to achieve higher standard. The accord is expected to help firms in all fields by greater sharing of knowledge and professional expertise in the safety community.
“We may not even have the answers to all the questions, but through the community of learners (and) practitioners, we can crowdsource those very ideas we need for a safer workplace,” he said. “It’s a different way of learning (and) spreading the message.”
Meanwhile, Inshpo president-elect Terrie Norris stated that the framework was meant as a “reference document”, considering that the jurisdictions, cultures and organisations differ from one country and another. Additionally, it also helps provide necessary knowledge and experience for organisations unfamiliar with occupational health and safety.
Mr Anson Lim, head of SMRT’s safety inspectorate, said the accord was an opportunity for the transport operator to implement its further commitment to improve occupational health and safety, while declaring its role as active practitioners. When they are being on board the accord, it means that their management was committed to policies to ensure its workers are safe.
“(At) all levels of leadership, it’s our responsibility … to make sure that our people work in accordance with regulations (and) that all risks that we’ve identified are mitigated to (a level) as low as possible for our workers,” said Mr Lim.