The “WSH 2028 Tripartite Strategies Committee” in Singapore has crafted a comprehensive set of recommendations that hold the potential to revolutionize the landscape of Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) in the country. Comprising representatives from various sectors, including government bodies, industries, unions, training providers, and healthcare institutions, this committee has collaboratively devised a visionary roadmap aimed at shaping the future trajectory of WSH.
At its core, the journey towards realizing the WSH 2028 vision rests upon four strategic outcomes. Each of these outcomes is integral to the overarching goal of fostering a healthier workforce within inherently safer workplaces. These outcomes underscore not only Singapore’s unwavering commitment to elevating its WSH practices but also emphasize the multifaceted approach required to bring about transformative change.
Strategic Outcome 1: Sustained Reduction in Workplace Injury Rates
Singapore’s audacious goal of achieving a 30% reduction in workplace fatal injury rates over the next decade aligns seamlessly with its ambition to become a global leader in WSH practices. By aiming to drive this rate below 1.0 per 100,000 workers, the nation reaffirms its dedication to the safety of its workforce. Furthermore, by addressing the reduction of major injuries in workplaces to below 12.0 per 100,000 workers, Singapore is taking a holistic approach that underscores safety’s critical importance.
Strategic Outcome 2: Minimize Hazards that Lead to Occupational Disease
The insidious nature of occupational diseases (ODs), which may manifest after prolonged exposure, is acknowledged by the committee. Therefore, a proactive approach to preventing ODs is advocated. This strategy involves implementing upstream controls that eliminate or isolate hazards, or alternatively, curbing worker exposure to acceptable levels using various measures. The committee’s ambition is to raise the percentage of workplaces implementing these controls from the current 46% to an impressive 75% by 2028, thus significantly mitigating risks linked to harmful substances and excessive noise.
Strategic Outcome 3: Promotion of Good Workforce Health
This outcome underscores the intrinsic connection between a safe workplace and a healthy workforce. The committee acknowledges that chronic health conditions can impact workplace accidents, underscoring the need for preventive measures. The target is to ensure that at least 50% of employees gain access to employer-initiated health promotion activities. Moreover, high-risk industries are called upon to conduct enhanced risk assessments that encompass at least 75% of safety-sensitive roles, recognizing the correlation between health and safety.
Strategic Outcome 4: Pervasive Adoption of the Vision Zero Culture
The Vision Zero culture embodies a paradigm shift wherein companies intrinsically prioritize safety and health. While assessing culture directly poses challenges, the committee is poised to gauge a company’s WSH culture strength through its practices. The goal is to see at least 75% of employees in high-risk industries adopt practices that resonate with the Vision Zero culture, thereby nurturing a collective commitment to safety.
To realize these strategic outcomes, the committee devised three overarching strategies, each addressing a pivotal facet of enhancing WSH.
Strategy 1: Strengthen WSH Ownership
Moving beyond the basic level of WSH ownership is imperative, according to the committee. Their recommendations focus on embedding intrinsic motivation within every company to safeguard workers’ safety and health. These recommendations include publicly sharing WSH performance metrics, introducing WSH duties for company directors and principals, and fostering joint worker-management teams for WSH initiatives. The intention is to cultivate a culture where WSH is embraced as a shared responsibility by all stakeholders.
Strategy 2: Enhance Focus on Workplace Health
Recognizing the symbiotic relationship between a safe workplace and a healthy workforce, this strategy emphasizes the prevention of occupational diseases and the promotion of workforce health. Recommendations encompass encouraging upstream measures to prevent ODs, expanding the list of reportable ODs, and creating guidelines for employers to support workers managing chronic conditions. Additionally, the strategy aims to enhance companies’ access to Total WSH Services, bolster WSH professionals’ skills in workforce health, and raise awareness about measures to promote mental health.
Strategy 3: Promote Technology-Enabled WSH
Leveraging Singapore’s journey towards becoming a Smart Nation, this strategy highlights the potential of technology in revolutionizing WSH practices. The committee envisions a WSH technology ecosystem that leverages emerging technologies to address WSH challenges. This strategy includes initiatives like the WSH Technology Challenge, which spurs innovative solutions, and the integration of technology into WSH training.
In conclusion, the recommendations put forth by the WSH 2028 Tripartite Strategies Committee mark a significant leap forward for WSH practices in Singapore. These well-considered strategies and outcomes reflect a comprehensive approach to creating safe and healthy workplaces, fostering a Vision Zero culture, and harnessing technology’s potential. By nurturing ownership among stakeholders and fostering innovation, Singapore is poised to set new benchmarks for global WSH standards. The commitment to a healthier workforce within safer workplaces is a testament to the nation’s dedication to the well-being and prosperity of its people.