SINGAPORE — The Government is planning to enhance the framework of workplace risk management for companies by shifting the emphasis from mitigation to prevention, said Acting Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin.
The Manpower Ministry will work with the Workplace Safety and Health Council to review the Risk Management Framework to boost its effectiveness. The review is set to take a year to complete.
Under the law, all companies must comply with the Risk Management Framework by rolling out steps to mitigate risk factors at work.
Companies that do not comply face a S$10,000 fine. Second-time and subsequent offenders face a maximum penalty of S$20,000 and six months’ jail.
Speaking at a convention yesterday, Mr Tan stressed the importance of creating a risk-free workplace, as 12 workplace deaths have been reported this year, up from eight during the same period last year.
“You really need to pay attention to the safety of people. You do not want to look at a family in their eye to tell them that their fathers or mothers will not be coming back or, in some cases, are seriously hurt or permanently disabled. That is a burden that families have to carry for a long time,” he said.
Mr Tan also cited details of a study, which showed that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that have gone through workplace safety and health training are more likely to retain their clients.
The study, conducted in January last year by the Workplace Safety and Health Institute, evaluates the effectiveness of the bizSAFE programme — a five-step scheme launched in 2007 that helps companies make their workplace safe and risk-free. More than 1,600 SMEs and their clients were surveyed.
Another key finding is that nine out of 10 bizSAFE-certified firms agreed that the programme has helped them improve the safety and health of their workplaces. To date, more than 17,000 companies have gone through the bizSAFE programme, up from only 550 in 2007.
Urging companies to go through the bizSAFE programme, Mr Tan said when firms focus on ensuring safety and health in the workplace, employees feel valued and cared for.
“This has an impact on a transformed workplace culture that can lead to higher productivity and quality, reduced turnover, reduced costs and greater employee satisfaction,” he added.