04 Mar 2021
Mr Bernard Soh, President, Singapore Institution of Safety Officers,
Industry partners and supporters,
Ladies and gentlemen.
1. We have come to the end of the Work at Heights Symposium. Today, our panellists have given us great insights on how to manage work-at-height risks in a new normal. My thanks to the panellists for sharing with us their experience and knowledge.
A greater focus on health
2. There are a few areas discussed. First, we heard from Ms Adeline Chang from the Ministry of Manpower, who shared with us on the enforcement of Safe Management Measures that took place last year. It is important that companies comply with Safe Management Measures to keep COVID-19 at bay and that all workers are kept safe.
3. COVID-19 has heightened the awareness of health. Companies must take time to take care not only of their workers’ physical health, but their mental health as well. We heard from Mr Lim Kok Heng from Wong Fong Academy, on how companies can step up efforts to take care of their workers. They can create a healthier workforce by adopting the WSH Council’s Total WSH programme; an approach in managing the interactions between work, safety and health together.
Leverage technology to keep workers safe
4. We should never forget our fundamental basics; that we must have sound WSH systems and practices in place. We have had seven workplace fatalities last month. No one should lose their lives at work, and more must be done to prevent this. We need to know as stakeholders how we can keep our workers safe.
5. One way to do this is to leverage technology. Due to COVID-19, companies had to innovate and reinvent themselves to sustain operations through technology adoption. We heard from Hyundai Engineering and Construction’s ingenious work-at-height solutions, the Silane Alpinist and Silane Apache. Both innovations use robotics to coat reinforcement steel with silane and prevent seawater corrosion of caisson units used in wharf construction. The automation of this process eliminated the need for workers to perform works at height. At the same time, it helped the company to save time and money.
Companies must take WSH ownership; workers must continuously upgrade themselves
6. Companies like Wong Fong Academy and Hyundai Engineering & Construction have displayed their ownership in WSH. It is through such strong ownership that we can build a pervasive culture of prevention within the organisation
7. I am thankful to have our co-organisers, the Singapore Institution of Safety Officers (SISO) and Singapore Contractors Association Limited (SCAL), put together two interesting workshops to lend weight in this area.
8. SISO’s workshop will focus on overcoming common work-at-height challenges. It will help refresh WSH professionals on their roles and responsibilities in addressing work-at-height risks.
9. SCAL’s workshop will offer guidance to management staff on taking WSH ownership in managing work-at-height risks at workplaces, and how inculcating a WSH culture at the workplace can improve safety outcomes and ensure business sustainability in the long- term.
10. In conclusion, I thank everyone for your time to attend this webinar. Always remember to Take Time to Take Care of your safety and health, so that we can prevent all accidents and ill-health and go home safe and healthy. We must remember that one accident is one too many.
11. I wish you all the best in your company’s WSH efforts. Thank you.