20 Jan 2022
WELCOME ADDRESS BY MR WIM ROELS,
CHAIRMAN OF THE
WSH COUNCIL (CHEMICAL INDUSTRIES) COMMITTEE,
AT CHEMPACT 2022, 20 JANUARY 2022
Mr Zaqy Mohamad, Senior Minister of State for Manpower,
Mr John Ng, Chairman, WSH Council,
Fellow WSH Council Members,
Ladies and gentlemen,
1. Good morning. I’m grateful to have this opportunity to speak to my peers from the Chemical Industry, as well as many others from the construction, marine, manufacturing, logistics and transportation industries. Thank you for joining us at the inaugural WSH Leadership Convention: ChemPact 2022, organised by the Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Council, in collaboration with the Singapore Chemical Industry Council and the Association of Process Industry. Your presence today, as leaders from your respective industries, means a lot as it shows your commitment towards providing a safer and healthier working environment for your employees.
ChemPact 2022: WSH Leadership Convention
2. Today’s Convention marks a significant milestone for the Chemical Industry. Today, we gather industry leaders, to re-commit ourselves to build a culture of good workplace safety and health practices.
3. Such a culture can only be fostered if we strengthen WSH ownership, which is one of the WSH 2028 key strategies. In order for ownership to be embraced by all levels of management and employees, it is crucial for leaders to take that important first step and lead by example. Today’s Convention recognises companies which have developed their own WSH pledges. In setting clear WSH goals that your company aspires to achieve, the pledge is a public declaration of your commitment in providing a safe and healthy work environment for all. Taking such accountability will spur your staff to also be responsible for their own safety and health at work, while looking out for their peers. Some of you today have made your WSH pledges, and they will be featured through the course of our convention today.
4. An example of taking great WSH ownership is depicted through the efforts of the Jurong Island Vision Zero Cluster, or JIVZ for short. This cluster comprises like-minded companies who share the same attitudes and beliefs towards safety and health, spearheading initiatives to collectively raise WSH standards on Jurong Island.
5. Some notable efforts include:
a. Curating WSH Insights articles to keep companies abreast about the latest WSH news and developments;
b. Incident Sharing, which distils learning points from past incidents, so readers can prevent similar incidentsn from happening in the future;
c. Holding quarterly JIVZ forums covering topics such as safe shutdown maintenance, traffic safety, slips, trips and falls, and work from heights. This series of forums has provided WSH solutions that the cluster could adopt. I would like to express my thanks to Er. Lucas Ng for leading the Cluster in bringing these initiatives to the Jurong Island companies, and by extension, to the chemical industry fraternity.
6. At today’s ChemPact, we will be hearing from three distinguished speakers.
a. Earlier on 9 December 2021, the WSH Council had launched its inaugural Workplace Mental Well-being Campaign, aimed to create greater awareness of and support for mental well-being among employers and employees at the workplace. Our first speaker Mr Paul Fong, Country Manager for Dow, will be talking about mental resilience and worker well-being. He is also part of WorkWell Leaders and is actively engaged in conversations within his company and industry on employees’ total wellness.
b. Aligned to one of the WSH 2028 strategies in promoting technology-enabled WSH, our second speaker, Mr Thomas Wong from Shell Energy and Chemicals Park, will be sharing their corporate philosophy on technology use, and his thoughts on how other companies in the chemical industries can overcome hurdles in adoption of these technologies. I hope that you will be enlightened and inspired to adopt technology to improve WSH outcomes.
c. It is important that we are mindful of how economic developments can have implications on the WSH landscape. Hence, we have Mr Ow Kai Onn from the Economic Development Board (EDB). He will be sharing insights on the economic outlook for chemical manufacturing, and I hope it will help your company include safety and health considerations in your businesses.
7. Before I end off, let me express my appreciation for the various organisations that have helped to make this event possible, namely the Singapore Chemical Industry Council, the Association of Process Industry, Dow, Shell, and EDB. Also, thank you to all the companies that shared your WSH Pledges with us. I am pleased to note that so far, we have consolidated close to 30 WSH Pledges. In two years’ time at the next ChemPact, we will review these pledges and take stock on what was achieved. As this practice builds momentum, it is my hope to see more companies taking the cue from your proactiveness and join us at the next ChemPact Convention.
8. I hope that today’s convention adds more meaning and proves useful in your efforts towards making our workplace safe and healthy for everyone. Thank you and I wish you all an inspiring and safe day ahead.