Find out what Total Workplace Safety and Health (Total WSH) is and how you can implement it in the workplace.
What is Total WSHTotal Workplace Safety and Health (Total WSH) is an approach that looks at work, safety and health together, as these areas are closely interrelated. For example, companies with good work processes have fewer accidents and cases of ill-health at work. This leads to better physical and mental well-being. It also results in increased productivity as companies that focus on safety have fewer employee injuries and companies with healthy workers tend to enjoy reduced absenteeism and are less likely to be involved in accidents arising from poor health.
Read more about the National WSH Campaign and Workplace Mental Well-being Campaign to get tips on how both employers and workers can “take time to take care” of their safety and health.
Watch the video about improving the safety and health of workers.
The benefits of Total WSH include:
• Healthier and more effective workforce.
• Safer workplaces and fewer employee injuries.
• Improved quality of life for employees.
• Improved employee engagement and retention.
• Improved productivity and business performance.
• Reduced absenteeism rates and healthcare costs.
A study on Singapore companies found that employees in companies that managed safety and health together at the workplace were:
Chia, S. E., Lim Wah, J., Judy, K. S. G., Yoong, J., Lim, R. B. T., & Chia, K. S. (2015). A Study on the Comprehensive and Integrated Workplace Safety and Health Services in Singapore. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 57(9), 958-964.
Case ExampleA construction company was managing one of the worksites under the Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL) project. It embarked on the Total WSH Programme, following the Assessment-Intervention-Monitoring and Evaluation process, and implemented the following interventions:
Intervention #1 – Chronic Disease Management
More than 45% of the company’s workers were overweight. 50% of its workers between 20 and 44 years old complained of at least one chronic condition.
Intervention #2 – Heat Stress Management Another area of concern was the constant exposure to sun, resulting in heat stress.
|What can be done to reduce heat stress?
Monitoring of wet bulb globe temperature can be introduced to better schedule water breaks to prevent heat stress. Water points can also be added to improve workers’ access to drinking water throughout the day.
Intervention #3 – Musculoskeletal Conditions Management More than 10% of the company’s workers were found to have musculoskeletal conditions. These workers suffered from lower back pain, which affected their productivity.
|Why look into ergonomics?
Body pain that the workers experienced could have been caused by work or made worse by work e.g. manual lifting of heavy objects and working in awkward postures for extended periods of time.
Pain can affect a worker’s performance at work – affecting his/her ability to lift things or conduct work in specific positions e.g. welding. If such pain is ignored, the worker would risk getting injured, and as a result, need to take time off work, affecting his/her productivity.
By improving the ergonomics of workers during execution of tasks and introducing programmes that teach them practical tips like proper manual lifting techniques, the risk of pain and musculoskeletal injury can be reduced.
Companies looking to practise Total WSH in the workplace can consider the following options:
1. Sign Up for the Total WSH Programme
Programme providers will give a short two-hour training on implementing Total WSH and conduct free* intervention programmes.
2. Get Support from a Total WSH Clinic
Total WSH Clinics are medical clinics that offer a suite of Total WSH Services to complement a company’s healthcare plan.
3. Attend a Course on "Implementing Total WSH"
- Implementing Total Workplace Safety and Health (Total WSH) in the Workplace by Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health
- WSQ Specialist Diploma in Workplace Safety and Health course, available at NTUC Learning Hub, Singapore Institution of Safety Officers, Ngee Ann Polytechnic and Singapore Polytechnic.
Total WSH Clinics
Get support from selected primary healthcare service providers which offer a one-stop, end-to-end suite of safety and health services to enhance the well-being of your employees.
The scope of safety and health services (non-exhaustive) provided by Total WSH Clinics is as follows:
For More Information
*Terms & Conditions apply.