Members of SCAL
1. Thank you for attending the SCAL 39th Annual General Meeting. I am truly humbled and honoured for this opportunity to serve the members of SCAL and the construction industry.
2. First of all I would like to express my gratitude for all the help and support that I have received in the past two years as president of SCAL. I would like to thank the council, sub-committee chairmen and members, and fellow members of SCAL who have contributed in one way or another towards the association.
3. This is a milestone year as SCAL turns 80. We have much to be proud of as a community that, in all sense of the word, has a hand in building the nation. We are grateful to our pioneers who had the foresight to lay the foundation for a strong trade association representing the interests of the construction industry.
4. We started 2017 with a launch of the SCAL80 logo. At the media conference that was held in January, we also committed ourselves to lead the industry on safety and productivity. Let me touch very briefly on these two important areas.
WORKPLACE SAFETY AND HEALTH (WSH)
5. Following the spate of construction fatal accidents in the first half of 2016, we stepped up and intensified engagement and outreach with industry. For example, we the launch of the Safety Promotion Month campaign, urging CEOs of construction companies to be personally involved in WSH activities at worksites under their charge. We also organised safety site visits to share best practices and called for regular safety time-outs for companies to uphold good WSH standards.
6. One of our key initiatives was the launch of the SCAL Induction Training app on mobile devices. The app serves as a tool leveraging on technology for site supervisors to train and highlight safe practices at worksites using visual images that workers can easily associate with. I hope by now all of you already have this app on your mobile phones and tablets.
7. With the collective effort by everyone, the construction sector has witnessed a significant improvement in our WSH record. This time last year, there were 17 fatalities at construction sites, with an average of 6 fatalities per quarter. In 2017 so far, the industry saw 2 fatal incidents. I sincerely hope that we will keep it this way and urge all members to remain vigilant to drive greater improvements in WSH.
8. Understanding productivity in the construction sector has always been an issue not just with the government but also across the built environment value chain.
9. As the industry champion, SCAL undertook a study on Construction Productivity in collaboration with the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, or SCCCI. The objective was to deep dive into key drivers to unearth new and valuable dimensions for productivity improvements.
10. I am pleased to present the report of the study. It is a wide-ranging report that provides practical recommendations for government and all stakeholders across the construction value chain to raise productivity.
11. Based on the report, a lot more needs to be done to advocate and implement the right measures to achieve the right results. We have published the report as a SCAL80 publication because we believe that the findings and recommendations will have lasting impact for the industry many more years down the road.
12. As another initiative, SCAL launched the Productivity and Innovation Awards, or PIA, last year to encourage fresh ideas from the ground-up to raise productivity through innovation. It was well received, with many practical solutions being surfaced. Some of these innovations even had the potential for industry-wide adoption. Applications for PIA 2017 are now open and I encourage all members to motivate your employees to take part. The closing date for applications is 15 August 2017.
13. Apart from WSH and productivity, SCAL has undertaken many other initiatives which our Secretary General has shared earlier in his report.
14. I just want to close by noting that the construction industry is undergoing a difficult period in the current economic transformation. There will be no turning back on adopting productive technologies, implementing better project planning and work processes, and an overall mindset shift towards a construction of the future.
15. In the midst of all these, SCAL will continue to endeavour support to all our members as the industry prepares to build for Singapore’s future economy.
16. On this note, I wish all of you a fruitful evening. Thank you!