SINGAPORE – As part of Tuas Terminal’s construction, workers from Hyundai Engineering and Construction had to spray a coating agent on the exposed surfaces of a submerged concrete unit while they were suspended in the air.
That ended when a team from the company designed and built an unmanned sprayer, controlled by workers on the ground, to apply the coating instead, eliminating the risk of working at a height for the workers.
For their efforts, Hyundai Engineering and Construction received an innovation award at the annual Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Awards, organised by the WSH Council.
A total of 190 companies and individuals, including WSH officers and workplace supervisors, received awards this year in various categories.
Instead of the usual presentation ceremony for all prize winners, a scaled-down event was held on Monday morning (Nov 9) because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Manpower Minister Josephine Teo and Senior Minister of State Zaqy Mohamad presented trophies to seven excellence and gold award winners from the performance awards category.
A commemorative e-book was also launched to mark the occasion this year.
The e-book documents efforts made by some of the award winners to ensure that their workers have safe and healthy working environments.
In a recorded speech that was part of the e-book launch, Manpower Minister Josephine Teo highlighted the importance of safe management measures amid the pandemic, and said that the uncertainties and business disruptions brought about by the pandemic should not stop companies from keeping up good WSH standards.
She also encouraged companies to look for ways to apply the WSH 2028 health, ownership and technology strategies to improve their WSH performance.
The 10-year WSH 2028 campaign was launched last year in a bid to make Singapore among the safest workplaces in the world by 2028, with a fatal injury rate of less than 1.0 per 100,000 workers.
“Working from home and other adjusted work arrangements have presented new challenges to workers’ health and mental well-being,” said Mrs Teo, who encouraged companies to tap the Manpower Ministry’s new iWorkHealth programme that will be launched in 2021.
The programme is an online self-administered psychosocial health assessment tool that helps organisations and employees identify common workplace stressors so that they can implement appropriate interventions to foster mental well-being.
Mrs Teo said companies’ management should strengthen their WSH culture.
“With the management taking the lead and walking the talk, workers will be more motivated to do their part” in embracing WSH ownership and internalising safe management measures as a way of life, she added.
Mrs Teo also urged companies to embrace technology in improving workplace safety and health.
Citing Hyundai’s example, she said the unmanned sprayer device reduced project work time by more than 50 per cent and helped the company save $2.5 million, showing how good WSHpractices could also make business sense.
“The Ministry of Manpower will continue to support companies and workers in their WSH efforts amidst the pandemic, and it is only through the collaboration of the tripartite partners that we can achieve our goal of a healthy workforce in safe workplaces together,” said Mrs Teo.
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