Welcome Remarks by Mr Abu Bakar Mohd Nor at the Workplace Safety and Health Awards 2023
13 Aug 2023 SpeechesWelcome Remarks by Mr Abu Bakar Mohd Nor,
Chairman of the Workplace Safety and Health Council
at the Workplace Safety and Health Awards 2023
on Friday, 11 August 2023, 7pm,
at Resorts World Sentosa, Compass Ballroom
Mr Zaqy Mohamad, Senior Minister of State for Manpower,
Members of the WSH Council,
Tripartite and Industry Partners, Award recipients,
Ladies and gentlemen.
1. Welcome to the WSH Awards, a special occasion where we gather to celebrate the best in workplace safety and health, and recognise the achievements made by exemplary companies and individuals.
I am pleased to share that we have a record turnout of over 1,600 guests this evening – thank you for your support and commitment to creating safe and healthy workplaces.
Increase in Number of WSH Awards Applicants
2. This year, I am delighted that there are more applications for the WSH Awards, from 443 last year to 512 this year. We saw a jump in the number of applications for our WSH Performance Awards as well as our individual categories, namely the WSH Officer Awards and the WSH Awards for Supervisors. This shows a growing trend of companies implementing sound WSH management systems and in strengthening their human capital.
3. Additionally, there has been an 18% increase in the number of companies from the lower-risk industries participating in the WSH Awards this year. I am glad to see that, slowly but surely, a cultural shift is taking place, with more lower-risk industries investing in WSH, and coming forward to share their good practices with us.
Celebrating the Best
4. While we saw more applications this year, we remain committed to upholding the highest standards of the WSH Awards, conferring close to 50% of the 512 applications received. So, to our 246 Awards recipients this year, give yourselves a round of applause for your well-deserved win.
5. A proud recipient of our Culture of Acceptance, Respect, and Empathy (CARE) Award this year is Puretech Engineering Pte Ltd. The SME appointed two Mental Health Ambassadors to oversee and champion mental well-being initiatives within the company. It participated in the Total WSH programme and offers annual health check-ups and workshops on mental health and wellness for its staff. In addition, the company introduced a peer support programme that matches new migrant workers with seasoned employees so that the latter can help induct the former and assist them settle in the workplace.
6. By taking care of their workers’ mental well-being and providing a conducive working environment, Puretech Engineering has been able to retain their skilled workers while steadily growing their team. In retaining skilled workers who uphold the company’s work quality and productivity, Puretech Engineering’s efforts have unlocked new opportunities for growth.
Lee Ley Ai, Parkway East Hospital
7. Let me now share about a recipient of our WSH Awards for Supervisors – Lee Ley Ai, an Assistant Nurse Clinician at Parkway East Hospital. Ley Ai has not only shown strong commitment to WSH but has also instilled a culture of ownership and responsibility at her workplace. By providing her staff with training on safety and health practices, she empowers them with the knowledge and skills necessary to stay safe on the job. One of her staff also shared with us that under Ley Ai’s guidance, she felt more confident in her abilities to ensure her own safety and health at work, and look out for her colleagues, as well as their patients.
8. Ley Ai also initiated a safety recognition programme to reward staff with good safety practices. This initiative reinforces positive behaviours and encourages her staff to embrace WSH ownership and work together towards a safer workplace. I applaud Ley Ai for going beyond her scope of work and responsibilities as a supervisor and taking the lead to ensuring her staff’s safety and well-being.
Collective WSH Ownership at all Levels
9. As we implement the SAFE (Safety Accountability, Focus and Empowerment) measures, we continue to recognise that WSH ownership is a shared responsibility of all stakeholders. Our National WSH Campaign this year, focused on “Reporting Saves Lives”, is aligned to it. From employers and workers to members of the public, we are urging everyone to play an active role in the reporting of unsafe situations at workplaces.
10. Companies are called upon to implement an internal reporting system so that workers are able to feedback on unsafe acts or hazards that they see around the workplace. One such company who has done so is RF360 Singapore Pte Ltd, a first-time applicant and recipient of the WSH Performance (Silver) Award. Through their Incident e-Reporting Tool which can be accessed by QR codes placed at workplace notice boards, workers can easily report a near-miss or safety incident so that their supervisors can address the matter promptly. Since its launch in 2020, about 500 reports have been submitted, helping to reduce the recurrence of incidents related to slips, trips and falls.
11. In closing, I extend my warmest congratulations once again to the 246 award recipients this evening. My sincere appreciation also goes to our industry partners who have dedicated their time and expertise during the Awards’ evaluation.
12. With greater WSH vigilance and a strong commitment to WSH ownership, safety can be ingrained at every level, be it sectoral, or at the company- or worker-levels. We must press on towards our WSH 2028 vision of fostering a healthy workforce in safe workplaces, and for Singapore to be a country renowned for its best practices in workplace safety and health.