EHS JOURNAL

Phase 03 – WSH Act for other industries (w.e.f. 1st September 2011) – Our Reflection on EHS Performance

Dear All,-

Just a brief recall about the enactment phases of WSH Act that gradually covering the industry sectors inSingapore, as follow:

  • Phase 01 (1st March 2006) : Factories, Construction, ShipBuilding & Repair, Airport and Laboratories;
  • Phase 02 (1st March 2008) : Hotel & Restaurants, Veterinary, Healthcare, Logistics, Waste Management and Landscaping;
  • Phase 03 (1st September 2011) : Trading Wholesale & Retail, Business Services, Finance & Insurance, Educational Institutions, Public Administration, Fishing and Agricultural sectors.

That last ‘sequel’ of enactment of phase 03 will be kicking off soon starting from 1st September 2011.

And under this Act, employers must manage risks at work while employees must adhere to safe work practices.

Employees have a duty to keep your workplace and colleagues safe and should:

  • follow safety and health procedures at your workplace;
  • not endanger yourself and your colleagues;
  • not tamper with safety devices or perform wilful or reckless acts;
  • report unsafe work conditions, behaviours and workplace incidents (regardless of whether an injury takes place);
  • provide suggestions to improve safety and health at work.

While, employers are required to ensure the safety and health of every one of their employees and have to:

  • remove or control risks at their workplace;
  • maintain a safe work environment;
  • make sure that safety is maintained in all equipment used at the workplace;
  • develop plans for dealing with emergencies; and
  • provide employees with clear plans and resources to keep their workplace safe.

Therefore, risk management system shall be established (e.g. risk assessment, Incident/Accident reporting procedure, SWP, etc).

How this last enactment will be affecting us?

Of course, from the industry perspective, this finale enactment will create a totality of EHS culture that is channelled and started within the entire industry value creation’s supply chain, e.g. from suppliers, subcontractors, engineering / consulting firms, QS to main contractor and clients.

EHS management will be as a built-in / by-product of any activities within the chain. Opportunity costs resulting from EHS risks will be much lesser (e.g. due to accidents/incidents man-day lost, insurance claim, stop work, medical leave, absenteeism, etc); in which ultimately will trim down the cost of doing business and translate it into a higher profit gained, at any point within the chain.

While, in micro perspective, our company shall remain vigilant to improve our EHS performance since we are also part of the industry.

Although, obviously, the WSH is just an ACT ( I mean not that kinda ‘act’ from TV/Movie screen but a legal and other requirements).

The ACT is man-made law that strictly enforces us to follow basically / majority ‘on paper’ compliance wise.

But we should definitely look beyond that, we should validate our ‘act’ on how we have truly complied with the ACT, in term of behaviour, attitude and cultural changed.

In my opinion, I always believe that EHS is one of the important core values of the (any) company that should underpin and explain the way it operates; establishes operational processes; and justifies on how to reward.

So that, by emphasizing on this EHS core values, we will not only gain immediate benefits (e.g. safer/happier workplace, less operational cost, etc) but also unleash sustainable lasting capabilities (e.g. better repeated customer satisfaction, industry recognition, etc).

And at the end, this EHS culture will become an asset, as our core value that differentiates the company from others, as the competitive advantage that no other company would be able to replicate.

Certainly, this EHS journey could be laborious and indecisive; especially requiring a constant commitment while probably opposing several explicit constraints (e.g. knowledge, resources, etc).

But if we are convinced of the change, we will succeed it by implementing forward looking strategies (e.g. training and development, etc).

Nevertheless, please consider this, that…

Our past success does not guarantee for our future success.

And we shall reassess on how to sustain it.

Have a good weekend.

Regards,

David Simon.

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