Singapore: New Workplace Safety Guidance Issued

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Feb. 25—Singapore's Ministry of Manpower has elaborated on its revised code of practice to help employers achieve better risk management of workplace health and safety.

“The Code of Practice [CP] on Workplace Safety and Health [WSH] Risk Management advises duty holders on their obligations under the WSH Act and the WSH [Risk Management] regulations,” a ministry spokesperson told Bloomberg BNA Feb. 19.

The code provides guidance on the systematic implementation of risk management from identification of hazards and evaluation of associated risks to implementation of relevant risk controls.

“Some of the key enhancements include placing a greater emphasis on moving up the WSH Hierarchy of Risk Control, whereby companies should apply the most effective level of control (e.g elimination of hazards) rather than relying on less effective ones such as personal protective equipment,” the spokesperson said.

Three Key Principles

The revised CP also highlights the importance of taking into account all factors that can contribute to injuries and ill health at the workplace, including individual health factors.

According to Minister for Manpower Tan Chuan-Jin, the revised code outlines three key principles:

• the need to implement and communicate risk management,

• encouragement for reengineering procedures and processes to eliminate hazards and

• support for a comprehensive approach covering individual health and work factors.

 

BioSafety Initiative

In another government initiative, the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) announced a new comprehensive three-level Biosafety Training Structure.

“The [first-level] WSQ module ‘Follow Good Biosafety Practices in the Workplace’ covers the risk assessment and management of biological and other hazards, risks and threats,” the WDA told Bloomberg BNA Feb. 17. “Learners will be able to follow biosafety and biosecurity principles and practices as well as interpret national and international biosafety standards, guidelines and legislation. Learners will also be able to carry out administrative controls and report on incidents and accidents, as well as implement recommendations to maintain a safe working environment.”

The second level of qualification is the Biosafety Professional Program (BPP) “for experienced employees who wish to become biosafety coordinators or biosafety officers,” Dr. Amy Khor, senior minister of state for health and manpower said at the initiative's Feb. 5 launch. “BPP maps out the current skills and knowledge requirements of biosafety coordinators under the Biological Agents and Toxins Act (BATA), such as dealing with safety issues at the operation and management level for high-containment facilities.”

The third level is the Professional Certification for Continued Education, which includes professional workshops, conferences and master classes conducted by professional bodies covering emerging trends and developments in the industry.

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael Mackey in Bangkok at correspondents@bna.com.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rick Vollmar at rvollmar@bna.com

For more information on Singaporean HR law and regulation, see the Singapore primer.