Mr Zaqy Mohamad, Minister of State for the Ministry of National Development and Ministry of Manpower
Mr Bernard Soh, President of SISO
Ladies & Gentlemen
1. Good Morning. Welcome to the SCAL-SISO Total WSH Conference. SCAL is pleased to partner SISO in organising this conference.
2. I would especially like to welcome Mr Zaqy Mohamed, officiating a SCAL event for the first time since his appointments at the Ministry of National Development and Ministry of Manpower.
3. Today’s event is organised as part of SCAL’s Construction Safety Promotion Month, where last week we also held our annual Safety, Health and Security Seminar attended by some 300 participants. This joint event today is yet another initiative by SCAL to collaborate with an important industry stakeholder like SISO, to reinforce the importance of workplace safety and health, or WSH in the construction sector.
Role of SCAL in WSH
4. As the industry leader, SCAL has an active programme on WSH in construction, driven through our WSH Subcommittee and its several working groups. Chaired by SCAL’s Secretary General, Mr Lee Kay Chai, the subcommittee and working groups comprise industry experts and leaders on construction safety.
5. The subcommittee organises programmes such as inter-site safety visits on a quarterly basis to share best practices at construction worksites, calls for regular safety time-outs and mozzie wipe-outs, analyse workplace accidents and survey members’ WSH initiatives.
6. SCAL is also well represented in the WSH Council’s committees, standards committees and in other stakeholders’ meetings.
SCAL’s WSH Work Plan
7. To ensure a holistic WSH programme for our members. SCAL developed a WSH work plan with three focus areas:
Firstly, leadership and culture;
And lastly, adopting advanced construction practices.
Let me touch on three areas briefly.
WSH leadership and culture
8. Leadership is most crucial to create and promote a strong WSH culture in any organisation. As one of the activities in the Construction Safety Promotion Month, we call on CEOs of construction firms to organise site safety awareness activities and participate personally in safety activities at the worksites under their charge.
9. To help develop a strong culture of continuous WSH improvements, SCAL organises an annual WSH Innovation Awards and a WSH Awards for Supervisors in collaboration with the WSH Council and the Ministry of Manpower.
10. In fact, just last week we presented winners of the 2018 WSH Innovation and WSH Supervisors Awards at our Safety, Health and Security Seminar.
11. WSH training is fundamental to instil WSH knowledge competencies in the construction workforce. Through our subsidiary SCAL Academy, SCAL has been providing safety training since 1986, with programmes ranging from basic construction safety for workers, to design-for-safety and risk assessment courses for professionals and managers.
12. At last week’s event, I announced that SCAL Academy will be setting up an expanded safety training school. Targeted to be set up by the end of the year, the school will incorporate new modes of blended learning. These include experiential training, use of augmented and virtual reality, gaming and other simulation training tools.
Advanced methods to improve WSH
13. To help promote adoption of advanced methods in construction, SCAL collaborates with government agencies such as the Building and Construction Authority, or BCA, and the National Environment Agency, or NEA, for members to tap on funding schemes to improve productivity and WSH. This is done through regular clinic sessions where the authorities provide one-on-one consultations to the companies.
14. With the development of the Construction Industry Transformation Map or ITM, greater emphasis on new construction methods such as Design for Manufacturing and Assembly, or DFMA, and Integrated Digital Delivery or IDD, will bring improvements to workplace safety in construction. Using these methods, work processes will be better streamlined and workers less exposed to the external environment as compared to conventional construction methods.
SCAL’s WSH Subcommittee Workplan 2018-2021
15. Going forward, I am pleased to learn that our WSH Subcommittee is now working on a new three-year workplan towards achieving “Vision Zero” in the construction sector. The key thrusts of the new work plan would be to (1) sustain current efforts and results, (2) focus on high risk work and setting standards, and (3) promote ownership of WSH deliverables on site.
16. The new workplan will cover a comprehensive series of areas and we look forward to the initiatives being rolled out. I urge members and construction firms to take guidance and participate in the programmes and activities organised by the subcommittee.
17. In conclusion, I would like to thank our sponsors and exhibitors for participating in today’s event. SCAL looks forward to working closely with all industry stakeholders like SISO in achieving Vision Zero in the construction sector.
18. I would like to thank Mr Zaqy Mohamed once again for gracing today’s event as we continue to work closely with both MOM and MND to transform the construction industry for Singapore’s future.
19. I wish everyone a safe and productive year ahead.
20. Thank you.