WSH ownership and strong WSH culture necessary for business sustainability, The Singapore WSH Conference 2022 reaffirms

19 Sep 2022 Press Releases

Singapore, September 19, 2022 – The 7th edition of The Singapore Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Conference opened today at Singapore Expo, with almost 1,100 delegates expected at the conference today and tomorrow. The event highlights how WSH is good for business and a vital building block for business sustainability.

John Ng, Chairman of the WSH Council said, “At the height of the pandemic, work in several industries came to a grinding halt. Coupled with the manpower crunch when the borders re-opened and workers returned home to be with their loved ones, many companies are still having trouble making up for lost time. Sadly, we are seeing some of the ripple effects in terms of the recent alarming trend of workplace fatalities and injuries. We need a rallying call to refocus attention on WSH, and remind companies that good WSH is good for business sustainability.”

Company leaders set the ground for pervasive WSH practices and culture

Since the start of 2022, 37 lives were lost, with most of the accidents due to preventable safety lapses such as inadequate control measures or lack of adherence to safe work procedures. It is imperative that attention and vigilance be refocused back onto WSH. To tackle the immediate situation, MOM implemented unprecedented measures such as the introduction of a six-month "Heightened Safety” period and a mandatory Safety Time-Out. However structural changes such as having WSH ownership and strong WSH culture are needed over the longer term so that good WSH performance is sustainable. 

Dr Tan See Leng, Minster for Manpower, stressed that WSH considerations have to be entrenched as most important and non-negotiable decisions. For strong WSH culture to grow and flourish, it has to start with the chief executive and company directors, as they are the ones with influence and control over budget, priority and training for WSH. He unveiled the Code of Practice (COP) on Chief Executives’ and Board of Directors’ WSH Duties, which aims to distil the management principles and practices of safe companies into reasonable and actionable steps so that company leaders can put in place and ingrain WSH at their workplaces.

Pushing for greater WSH ownership and a stronger culture; The Code of Practice on Chief Executives and Board of Directors’ Duties

The COP is based on four main principles:
Ensure that WSH is integrated into business decisions and have clear roles and responsibilities of a Chief Executive and individual members of the Board of Directors in leading WSH;
Continuously build a strong WSH culture, set the tone and demonstrate visible leadership in embodying and communicating effective WSH standards;
Ensure that WSH management systems are effective and reviewed regularly; and
Empower workers to be actively engaged in WSH.

An in-depth discussion on the COP will take place during Plenary 4 on the second day of the Conference.

Driving a robust dialogue and exchange of experiences and insights 

With over 40 renowned speakers, the Conference comprises four plenary sessions and six symposiums spread over the two-day event. The Conference has three broad tracks – for Employers, for Employees, and the Future of Work. 

Earlier this morning, this year’s keynote speaker, Mr Lee Tzu Yang, Chairman of the Public Service Commission, discussed emerging workplace trends and how WSH remains an important pillar for organisational growth and success. 

Following the keynote, a wide range of topics will be covered over these two days. The symposiums and plenaries will discuss how employers can stay strong and adaptable in these times, and how employees can develop a strong sense of WSH activism. Lastly, the Conference will also cover how technology and digitalisation can simplify the WSH process for workers. 

About The Singapore WSH Conference 2022

One of Southeast Asia’s biggest WSH events, The Singapore WSH Conference brings together business leaders, government officials, WSH practitioners and management representatives to discuss WSH challenges and share best practices to explore and improve WSH strategies, and bolster companies’ competitive edge in these challenging times.

Organised by the Workplace Safety and Health Council, Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower, National Trades Union Congress and Singapore National Employers Federation, the Conference creates opportunities for networking and WSH collaborations.

The seventh edition of the Conference will take place on 19–20 September 2022 at Singapore Expo. Themed “Reinforcing WSH for Business Sustainability”, the biennial Conference will highlight how WSH is good for business and a vital building block for business sustainability. 

The Conference comprises four plenary sessions and six symposiums, with over 40 renowned speakers. It will also cover three broad WSH topics vital to business sustainability, namely ownership, health and technology.