Singapore’s WSH committee looks at OSH leadership as contractor prequal measure
A committee convened by the Singapore government is looking at how companies and developers can identify the contractors who demonstrate strong OSH ownership before offering project tenders.
The WSH2028 Tripartite Strategy Committee (TSC), which was announced by Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower earlier this year, has been tasked with developing a 10-year plan to improve OSH standards.
Speaking at the workplace safety and health (WSH) awards ceremony on 31 July, Manpower Minister Josephine Teo said that if senior managers in companies were committed to workplace safety and health, this would “naturally set the tone for the rest of the company to follow”.
She added: “This applies not only within companies, but also extends to subcontractors and suppliers. Conversely, if the senior management shows little or no interest, it is unlikely that the rest of the company or its associates will take WSH seriously.”
John Ng, chairman of the WSH Council, added that helping companies and developers to better understand contractors’ commitment to OSH when deciding project tenders would “encourage more contractors to invest in improving their safety and health record”.
Teo noted how some companies now require their subcontractors to have bizSAFE Level 3 certification as a minimum – a practice that government agencies already adopt when they award public construction project tenders.
“When the customer imposes such a requirement, it reinforces the importance of safety and health in the workplace,” she said.
“Both sides also stand to gain from reduced downtime due to accidents or costs incurred because of safety lapses.”
The Manpower Minister said that the TSC had started to consult with key industry stakeholders, including employers, unions, professional associations, safety officers and workers from different industries on how workplaces can be safer and healthier. She added that a recurring theme from these discussions was that senior management should take the lead in driving WSH.
The TSC is expected to share its preliminary recommendations at the Singapore Workplace Safety and Health Conference on 29-30 August.
Nick Warburton is deputy editor of IOSH Magazine