Let’s face it. No one wants to have an accident at work, or anywhere else, for that matter.
Recently, within a short span of 2 weeks, 2 workplace accidents have happened which resulted in the loss of 2 lives and many others injured.
On 22 September 2015, a 24-year-old construction worker from India died after falling from a height of about 6 metres while working on a temporary platform used for widening of a flyover. 3 other men were also involved but survived.
Separately, 1 person died and seven others were injured in a fire which broke out at a gas manufacturing firm in the Jurong industrial area on 12 October 2015.
Accidents of any kind are never pleasant or easy to handle, what more one at a workplace in the midst of colleagues and friends.
It may not be so pressing an issue as compared to a impending economic downturn or skyrocketing unemployment rate, but where loss of lives are concerned, I think there is an urgent need for more to be done to make workplaces safer for workers like you and me.
At the recently-concluded NTUC National Delegates’ Conference, labour chief Chan Chun Sing highlighted the labour movement’s concern about the safety of workers in light of the recent industrial accident cases.
This is definitely not the first time the NTUC had raised concerns about workplace safety. In past years, it voiced its concern and advocated for the workplace safety and health concerns of workers.
Just yesterday (5 November 2015), Chan together with the Singapore Institute of Safety Officers launched a Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Leadership Programme which is meant to upskill and enhance the employability of Safety Officers to deal with various safety issues at work.
The programme is not just a professional development course for safety officers. More than that, it trains safety officers to better deal with dangerous situations. At the launch event, Chan shared his thoughts on how safety officers can create a safer workplace while instilling a safety culture in our workers.
But more than that, he said, that safety is not just the responsibility of safety officers. “We must inculcate the correct mindset and train another generation of workers to walk this safety journey,” said Chan.
In fact, from the top to the bottom, everyone should adopt the culture of safety at the workplace. At the National Delegates’ Conference, Chan also called on the delegates to be the eyes on the ground at the workplace.
He reiterated this point at yesterday’s launch event. “It’s always been quite hard for me to reach people at the top level, but I know it’s very important because workplace safety must be driven by these people and flow down to the rest of the organisation.”
We all need to be vigilant everyday to eradicate the loss of innocent lives at the workplace.