This Code of Practice serves to enhance the understanding of the WSH Act and reinforce the responsibility of Company Directors in upholding workplace safety. It offers valuable resources to support Directors in fulfilling their duties and maintaining WSH standards.
The Code of Practice was launched by Dr Tan See Leng, Minister for Manpower, at The Singapore WSH Conference 2022 on 19 September 2022.
This Code of Practice Guides Company Directors in their crucial role of ensuring workplace safety and health. It outlines their responsibilities, including integrating WSH into decisions, cultivating a robust WSH culture, maintaining effective management systems, empowering workers, and ensuring compliance with regulations.
Company Directors play a pivotal role in shaping the safety culture of their organizations. By exercising their influence over workplace resources and priorities, they set the tone for effective WSH practices. As stipulated in Section 48(1) of the Workplace Safety and Health Act (WSH Act), Company Directors are accountable for ensuring their workers’ safety and health. This Code of Practice outlines desired outcomes in organizational systems and culture that Company Directors should strive to achieve in order to comply with the WSH Act. It also provides practical examples of reasonably practicable measures that Company Directors can adopt to achieve the desired WSH standards and culture.
Principles and Measures
This section provides a detailed breakdown of the principles and corresponding measures that Company Directors can employ to foster a safe and healthy work environment.
Ensure WSH is integrated into business decisions and have clarity of roles and responsibilities of Chief Executive and individual members of the Board of Directors in leading WSH.
- Assign and document WSH roles and responsibilities of individual Company Director(s).
- Establish the WSH policy, standards, and strategic goals for the organization.
Continuously build a strong WSH culture, set the tone and demonstrate visible leadership in embodying and communicating highly effective WSH standards.
- Publish the organization’s WSH commitment and review, endorse, and track the organization’s WSH targets and performance regularly.
- Set WSH as a regular agenda item in management/board meetings.
- Ensure sufficient resource allocation to WSH.
- Facilitate direct reporting of WSH issues to the Company Director
- Acquire WSH knowledge
- Conduct engagements to understand processes, workers’ concerns, and communicate the need to prioritize WSH.
- Set and demand effective WSH standards and performance from vendors and partners
Ensure that WSH management systems are highly effective and reviewed regularly.
- Ensure effectiveness of WSH management systems and maintain oversight of compliance with safe work procedures.
- Ensure suitable, adequate, and timely risk assessment.
- Recognize and reward workers’ efforts toward achieving good WSH performance
- Endorse immediate remedial/disciplinary actions to address workers’ repeated non-compliance with safe work procedures.
Empower workers to actively engage in WSH.
- Ensure processes are in place for workers to receive information on WSH risks and safe work procedures in a timely manner.
- Set up reporting systems, encourage proactive reporting, and ensure proper follow-up to address WSH issues.
- Commit resources and protected time for workers to undergo WSH training and refresher courses.
- Involve workers in the joint development and implementation of strategies/programs to improve WSH.
- Various resources are available to support Company Directors in fulfilling their WSH duties.
Capability and Culture Building
- Several programs, such as StartSAFE, bizSAFE, CultureSAFE, Total WSH, and WSH Advocate, assist organizations in enhancing their WSH capabilities and culture.
Mental Well-being at the Workplace
- Resources like iWorkHealth and A Playbook on Workplace Mental Well-being promote the mental well-being of workers.
- The WSH Tech Resource Guide highlights available technology solutions to address WSH challenges.
Check Company’s WSH Performance
- CheckSAFE allows organizations to assess and compare their WSH track records, aiding informed vendor/partner selection.
Report Workplace Incidents or Unsafe Workplace Practices
- Online channels provide avenues for reporting WSH incidents and unsafe practices to the relevant authorities.
- Resources like the Code of Practice on WSH Risk Management, WSH Alert, and WSH Bulletin offer guidance and updates to enhance WSH practices.
This Code of Practice outlines key principles and measures for Company Directors to nurture a strong workplace safety and health culture. By following these guidelines, Directors fulfill legal duties, safeguard workers’ well-being, and enhance business outcomes. Their commitment ensures safety, positive reputation, and a brighter future for all stakeholders.
Source: Workplace Safety and Health Council, Singapore