Welcome Address by Kwee Wei Lin at WSH e-Forum for F and B Industry and STF Campaign Launch 2021
17 Jun 2021 SpeechesWelcome Address by Ms Kwee Wei-Lin, Chairperson,
WSH Council (Hospitality and Entertainment Industries) Committee, at the WSH e-Forum for the Food and Beverage Industry and
Slips, Trips and Falls Campaign Launch 2021
on Thursday, 17 June 2021 at 10.05am
Mr Zaqy Mohamad, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Manpower
Mr John Ng, Chairman, Workplace Safety and Health Council
WSH Council Members
Ladies & Gentlemen
1. Good morning and a warm welcome to the WSH e-Forum for the Food and Beverage Industry 2021. I am very encouraged by the strong attendance today, which reflects the F&B industry’s commitment towards Workplace Safety and Health.
The F&B industry’s resilience
2. The F&B industry is a very competitive industry and most of you are in the industry because of your passion for good food and service. The past 18 months have been full of ups and downs for our industry. As I speak, many of you are still closed for dine-in and we are all eagerly awaiting reopening. I am very encouraged by your perseverance and for choosing to weather the storm to adapt to the rapidly changing environment.
Benefits of the e-Forum
3. That’s why I think it is even more remarkable that many of you remain committed to WSH, despite the adverse industry conditions as we are committed to the health and safety of our employees for long-term business sustainability. Our staff are our talent and that’s what makes our industry so special. Thus, it is important that we take good care of them. Accident prevention will help keep our workforce healthy and productive and it makes good business sense. Good workplace health practices related to Covid Safe Management Measures can minimise risk of Covid transmission among your workers, and avert a potential business disruption. Vaccination is also a key tool to reduce transmission and many of you have already gotten your shot as your turn came due. Thank you for keeping our country safe and sound.
Reducing STF Injuries
4. For F&B, Slips, Trips and Falls (STFs) injuries have been increasing over the past few years, to become one of the top causes of work injuries for the industry. This forum will share some practical steps to prevent STF injuries. The WSH Council is taking the opportunity to kickstart the STF Campaign through this forum, and SMS Zaqy will share more on the campaign later.
Enhancing Focus on Workplace Health
5. The forum will also feature efforts to enhance workplace health. The industry has been grappling with acute manpower constraints, and our workers, unfortunately, bear the brunt of such shortages. When made to work longer hours and complete more tasks, our F&B workers are more likely to experience fatigue. Their day-to-day struggle at work may take a toll on his or her health and increase the likelihood of injuries. Speakers will share about how to maintain worker well-being in the F&B setting.
6. One way to work around manpower constraints is to adopt technology to maintain productivity and WSH. Our speakers today will cover this topic as well.
Contributions by the WSH Council (H&EI) Committee
7. To conclude, I would like to acknowledge the efforts of the WSH Council (Hospitality and Entertainment Industries) Committee. Since 2012, its members have put out resources such as kitchen safety packs, kitchen risk assessment cards and housekeeping posters to guide operators on how they can keep their kitchens and more importantly, workers, safe.
8. The Committee also organised the WSH Forum on Kitchen Safety for the hotel industry in 2019 and supported the online Singapore Hotel Association Hotel WSH Week in 2020. Both events helped raise greater awareness on kitchen safety and provided useful tips to our F&B industry. Through today’s forum, we hope to sustain this momentum and drive home the importance of WSH in the F&B industry.
9. In line with the National WSH Campaign message this year, I urge everyone here to Take Time to Take Care of Your Safety and Health and also set aside some “Care Time” to put WSH into action. Thank you.