Updated: 05/07/2014 19:15

Design for Safety Programme to be mandated in bid to better manage WSH risks upstream



Design for Safety Programme to be mandated in bid to better manage WSH risks upstream

The Manpower Ministry, MOM, will mandate the Design for Safety Programme in a bid to better manage Workplace Safety and Health risks upstream. 

Currently, the programme is voluntary. 

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Thrman Shanmugaratnam says an Inter-agency workgroup led by MOM and the Building and Construction Authority will work out implementation details in consultation with industry. 

And the timeframe for their implementation will be announced by the end of this year. 

He was speaking at the launch of this year's Workplace Safety and Health Campaign. 

Mr Tharman says performing risk management would mean developers and designers making a conscious effort to collaborate with relevant experts to identify workplace safety and health risks in their designs and incorporate the necessary risk control solutions into the designs upfront. 

He says builders and facility operators will then have significantly fewer risks to manage downstream. 

Mr Tharman says while good results have been achieved in bringing down the overall workplace fatality rate to 2.1 per 100,000 employees last year from 4 per 100,000 employees in 2005, the rate of improvement has slowed. 

He says Singapore is at risk of plateauing or even slipping back. 

There were 19 workplace fatalities in the first quarter, five more compared to the same period last year. 

12 of the 19 lives were lost in the construction sector. 

Mr Tharman says equal emphasis also has to be placed on workplace health. 

The cost of work-related ill health was about $9 billion in 2011. 

A new Tripartite Oversight Committee chaired by Senior Minister of Stare for health and manpower, Dr Amy Khor, has been formed to drive the initiative.

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