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MA0101/MP4007/AE4007/CV4000/CV0002 Engineering Practice in Singapore Workplace Safety and Health

Professor Lim Mong King 2013

About Singapore
GENERAL & EMPLOYMENT (2013) Land Area (Sq Km) Total Population (000) Employment (000) Key Sectors (by % Employment)

710 5,3 3,1


Service Sectors Petrochemical and Oil


Transport and Storage

KEY OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH DATA (2010) Workplace Fatalities Rate 2.2 Workplace Injury Rate 410 Occupational Disease Incidence 17 Per 100,000 workers employed

Singapores Progress

WSH 2018

National Workplace Fatality Rate per 100,000 workers employed

Workplace Fatality Rates (per 100,000 workers) for period 2000 - 2010

Workplace Safety and Health Act

The primary tool to effect the new framework First Reading: Second & Third Reading: Parliament) Assented to by President: Came into force: 17th October 2005 17th January 2006 (passed by

6th February 2006 1st March 2006

The unveiling of the new WSH framework marked a new phase of development for WSH in Singapore.

WSH Act Coverage

The WSH initially covered the more high-risk industries. Six new sectors were covered in the expanded Workplace Safety and Health Act in March 2008. They included:

Services allied to the transport of goods, such as logistics, freight forwarding and cargo surveying services; Landscape care and maintenance service activities, such as grass-cutting; Water supply, sewerage and waste management, such as refuse disposal; Hotels and restaurants; Healthcare activities such as hospitals; and Veterinary activities. Workplaces in these new sectors are expected to follow the key principles of the WSH Act that advocates reducing risks at source, increasing stakeholders ownership and adopting a performance-based approach. The Act eventually covers all workplaces to ensure the safety and health of all workers since 2010.

New Principles: To Change Mindsets & Culture

1. Reduce risk at source by requiring all stakeholders to minimise or eliminate risks which they create Occupiers, employers, suppliers, manufacturers, designers and persons at work will have responsibility to identify & prevent or mitigate risks at source


Industry will be required to take greater ownership of safety outcomes From Prescription to Goal Setting for safety Standards and practices. Employers must develop actionable plans to achieve OSH desired outcome.


Prevent accidents through higher penalties for poor safety management

Greater financial incentives, disincentives and penalties

Driving Mindset / Behavior Change

Desired Change
From Hold accountable those who create risks to Reduce Risk @ Source To Identifying & Eliminating Risks Before they are Created Proactive Planning to Achieve a Safe Workplace


Managing Risk

Ownership of Safety Outcome

Compliance with Letter of the Law

Prevent accidents through Higher Penalties for Poor Safety Management

Accidents are Costly

Poor Safety Management is Costlier

Many initiatives have rolled out since

Going forward

Better Defined Liability Regime to Reduce Risks at Source Factories Act imposed liability primarily on the registered factory occupier. The WSHA assigns legal responsibility to those who create and have management and control over safety and health risks Occupier / Employer / Principal / Employee / Manufacturer & Supplier / Erectors & Installer

Imposed a general duty to take reasonably practicable measures to protect people affected Employees, workers as well as members of public

What is considered as reasonably practicable?

An action is considered to be practicable when it is capable of being done. Whether it is also reasonable usually takes into account:
the severity of any injury or harm to health that may occur; the degree of risk (or likelihood) of that injury or harm occurring; how much is known about the hazard and the ways of eliminating, reducing or controlling it; and the availability, suitability and cost of the safeguards.

Risk of Accident

Measures necessary to eliminate the risk, including the cost involved, etc

A balancing act

Critical Area # 1 Effective Governance and Enforcement

A Flexibible and Practical Regulatory Framework:

Focus on reinforcing concept of ownership Placing responsibility for workplace safety on all stakeholders
The Workplace Safety and Health Act (WSHA) came into effect on 1 March 2006, replacing the former Factories Act WSH (Risk Management) Regulations came into force on 1 September 2006

Work Injury Compensation Act (WICA) came into effect on 1 April 2008, replacing the Workmens Compensation Act

WSH (Incident Reporting) Regulations was enacted on 1 March 2006

Critical Area # 1 Effective Governance and Enforcement

Delivering Practical Assistance

Approved Code of Practice (ACOP)
Set out preferred work practices or standards that industry practitioners are expected to adopt when managing workplace risks. Any Code of Practice issued directly by the WSHC would, by default, undergo official processes to be approved as an ACOP.

Guidelines (GL)
Provides guidance on issues & non-technical on advice on WSH issues

Technical Advisories (TA)

Provides detailed guidance on issues that are technical in nature or where engineering & scientific methods are required

Critical Area # 1 Effective Governance and Enforcement

Robust Inspection Framework -ensure that basic safety standards are not compromised.
Flagship Programs / Activities Accident Complaint BUS ProBE
Targeting where it matters

Bad boys club

Uncovering the cause/s of accident

Leveraging on the eyes and ears on the ground

Cluster Ops targeting nontraditional groups such TC, MOE


-Prompt & Rapid Operations

Mechanism Inspect / Investigate / Engage / Licence

We use the stick, carrot & whole lot of talking
Licence / Permit Advisory Letter Warning Letter Notice of Non-Compliance (NNC) Composition Fine (CF) Stop Work Order (SWO) Remedial Order (RO) Legal Prosecution Demerit Points Leveraging on Media


Critical Area # 2 Creating a Progressive and Pervasive WSH Culture


Internalisation of WSH as a Non-Negotiable Value Stakeholders motivated to progress WSH ownership and pervade WSH culture across all levels Pre-Emptive Address of WSH is Routine & Self Sustaining Stakeholder Participation & Engagement in WSH Assurance Top Down Management & Direction of WSH Initiatives

4 3 2 1





Critical Area # 2 Creating a Progressive and Pervasive WSH Culture

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong We should set a more ambitious goal, to reduce the rate to 1.8 within a decade. We should aim to have one of the best workplace safety records in the world.

Our Target: Workplace fatality rate of 1.8 per 100,000 employed persons by 2018





WSH Council

WSH Professionals Industry & Unions

Critical Area # 2 Creating a Progressive and Pervasive WSH Culture

Say No to Risks at Work

Critical Area # 2 Creating a Progressive and Pervasive WSH Culture

Elevating awareness of WSH among new sectors

A year-long engagement programme for face-toface outreach to new sector employees and heartland employers HOW it is executed? Guerilla-style awareness building Performances in companies / association events

Critical Area # 2 Creating a Progressive and Pervasive WSH Culture

A VOICE for WSH-conscious workforce

Voice Observe Inform Care Educate

Critical Area # 2 Creating a Progressive and Pervasive WSH Culture
- involving the nation to build safe and healthy workplaces

This event marks the significant milestone of the WSH Act being extended to all workplaces and kick starts a new media initiative to involve the nation to pledge support for WSH online in WSHNation

Critical Area # 3 Embracing New Challenges in Safety and Health

Vision: A Leading Institute for WSH Knowledge and Innovations Mission: Enhancing WSH through Knowledge, Innovations and Solutions

Creates & enhances WSH knowledge for our stakeholders: for:


To be equipped with solutions and information to address WSH issues faced

WSH Council
To make informed (evidence based) WSH policies and strategies

Leaders & WSH Professionals

To be effective in managing & influencing safety and health aspects of workplaces

Critical Area # 3 Embracing New Challenges in Safety and Health

National WSH Research Agenda 2011-2016

Research on Business and Organizational Aspects of WSH Enhancing WSH Leadership and Culture Linking WSH and Profitability Measuring WSH Performance

Research on WSH Risks and Solutions Addressing Imminent WSH Concerns Designing for Safety and Health Managing workplace Health Hazards

Moving to a Performance- based regime

Factories Act is prescriptive in nature
the law prescribes what must be done in order to be safe Safety measures listed are not exhaustive; It is simply not effective nor possible to prescribe detailed requirements applicable for every scenario, across different industry sectors.

Companies are in the best position to decide what is the most practicable and reasonable method to carry out the work safely. Companies will be required to:
Conduct Risk Assessments; and Take steps to eliminate or minimise the identified risk

Changes in WSH Management







Where are we now?

Holistic management Planning for uncertainty

Widen loss control base

Integrating WSH management into business Total cost concept

Innovation in WSH management strategy

Maximising long term profits

Maximising short term profits

Minimising cost

Risk Assessment

Workplace Safety And Health (Risk Management) Regulations 2006

Take 5 - A Simple Risk Assessment

1 2 3

Stop and Look Think through the Task Identify Hazards Control + Communicate Do the Activity Safely


Risk Assessment
Student Activities Hall Activities Society Activities Curriculum Activities Official Overseas Travel Control Risks / Plan B Safe Event Identify Hazards Quantify Risks

What is Risk Assessment?

Risk Assessment is a systematic approach to identify hazards, evaluate risk and incorporate appropriate measures to manage and mitigate risk for any work process or activity.

WHY we need to do RA?

Protect Ourselves

RA is key to prevention of accident

Everyone deserve to go home safely at the end of the day Elevate safety awareness & ownership Aware of hazards, risks and controls and practicing safe science

University and Faculty Procedures

Compliance with Regulations

Definition HAZARD

Source or situation or act with a potential for harm in terms of human injury or ill health or a combination of these e.g. - Toxic or flammable substances, electric energy, working at heights etc.

Hazard is something that cause harm or injury (MoM Risk Mgt Reg.)

Definition - RISK
Combination of the likelihood of an occurrence of a hazardous event or exposure(s) and the severity of injury or ill health that may be caused by the event or exposure(s) Likelihood that a hazard will cause a specific harm or injury to person or damage property (MoM)

Risk means the chance that someone will be harmed by the hazard. Risk = Hazard effect x Probability (likelihood of Occurrence)

Risk Concepts
What can go Wrong

How likely is it?

What are the Impacts

Risk Level

Risk management also includes control and monitoring of risks, as well as communicating these risks

Legal Requirement

Legal Requirement Workplace Safety & Health Act Effective from 1st March 2006.

The WSH Act is an essential part of the new OSH framework to cultivate good safety habits in all individuals at the workplace. It requires every person at the workplace to take reasonable practicable steps to ensure the safety and health of every workplace and worker.

Legal Requirement

Reasonable Practicable
Action is considered to be practicable when it is capable of being done.

Legal Requirement
Reasonable Practicable
Reasonable usually takes into account: The severity of harm & degree of risk (or likelihood) of that injury or harm occurring. Greater risk, reasonable to go to very considerable expense & effort to reduce it

How much is known about the hazard & the ways of eliminating, reducing or controlling it. What are others practicing & what the standards recommend?

Legal Requirement
Workplace Safety And Health (Risk Management) Regulations 2006

Enforced from 1st September 2006.

The WSH (Risk Management) Regulations require employers, the self-employed and principal (including contractor and subcontractor) to conduct risk assessments for the purpose of identifying workplace safety and health risks and implementing measures to control the hazards and reducing the risks.
Whoever generates the risk shall manage the risk.

Legal Requirement
Workplace Safety And Health (Risk Management) Regulations 2006 Penalties Any person who fails to comply may be fined up to $10,000 for the first offence.

For a second or subsequent offence, the person may be fined up to $20,000 or jailed up to 6 months or both.


3(1) 4(1) 5 6 7

Conduct Risk Assessment Eliminate, Minimise & Control Risk, Specify Responsibilities Maintain Risk Assessment Record Inform Those At Risk of Risks & Measures, SWP Review of Risk Assessment.

Risk Management Regulations

Why is there a need for Risk Management Regulations ? to hold stakeholders accountable for managing the risks they create to reduce risk at source

What is a hazard ? means anything with the potential to cause bodily injury
What is a risk ? Means the likelihood that a hazard will cause a specific bodily injury to any person.

Risk Control
What can be done to control risks in the workplace ? Some measures are : ( from most to least preferred ) Elimination eliminate the hazard from the workplace Substitution - substituting a hazardous substance or process with a less hazardous one. Engineering controls e.g. installing machine guarding or enclosing a noisy machine. Administrative controls e.g. applying a permit-to-work system or lock-out and tag-out procedures. PPE - provision and use of these equipment, AND SWP Safe Work Procedures

Engineering Controls
Consist of substitution, isolation, ventilation, and equipment modification. These controls focus on the source of the hazard, unlike other types of controls that generally focus on the employee exposed

to the hazard.
The basic concept behind engineering controls is that, to the extent feasible, the work environment and the job itself should be designed to eliminate hazards or reduce exposure to hazards

Management Controls Management controls may result in a reduction of exposure through such methods as changing work habits, improving sanitation and hygiene practices, or making other changes in the way the employee performs the job.

Records of Risk Assessment

How often must the risk assessment be reviewed ? At least once every 3 years; After an accident; When there is significant change in work processes, introduction of new machinery or chemicals; Information on safety technology or requirement made known


ESP who contravenes can result in penalty : for 1st offence A fine not exceeding $10,000; and for 2nd or subsequent offence A fine not exceeding $20,000; and/or jail term not exceeding 6 months.

Risk Assessment Process

IDENTIFY the hazards

ASSESS the risks and available control measures

MANAGE the risk
CONTROL the risks through implementation of appropriate control measures MONITOR the controls to evaluate their effectiveness Communication of Risks & Controls

Risk Assessment Template

Activity or Experiment-Based Risk Assessment Form
Department: Location: Last Review Date: 1. Hazard Identification Possible Consequences Existing Risk Control (if any) Name of Experiment/Activity: Name of Person in-charge: Next Review Date: 2. Risk Evaluation & Control Additional / New Risk Control Action By Name of PI:





Conducted by: (Name, designation) Signature: Date:

Approved by: (Name, designation) Signature: Date:

Risk Assessment Flowchart

1. Selecting Experiments 2. Break Down into Successive Tasks 3. Potential Hazards 4. Potential Harm (Ill health condition)

5. Existing Control Measures 6. Evaluate Risk (Severity, Probability)

Manage Risk
7. Hazard Control
8. Additional control measures (Responsible person, timeline) Review, Approval, Communicate Record Keeping and Document Control

Identify Potential Hazards The most important step in any Risk Assessment hazards can only be controlled if they are identified






Each step is analyzed for potential inherent hazards

Decision on the relevance of any particular hazard come later in the risk assessment processes

What are the Hazards in a laboratory?

Radiation Fire

Slips and trips

Falling hazard Ergonomics

Biological Physical

Noise etc

Acute vs. Chronic Effects

Identify Potential Harm

Identify what are the adverse conditions may arise due the hazard present in your experiments, laboratory or environment
Injury Identify Source of Harm First Aid Treatment Hazardous event or process Visit Clinic/ hospital Admitted in Hospital Hazardous substance Permanent damage Equipment Acute Vs Chronic Effects Identify who could be harmed Lab Acquired Infection Property Damage Researcher Breakage of glassware Others students Equipment Contractor/supplier Furniture Building Visitor Environmental Release Identify how harm could occur Release to Air Accidental fall from height Water Waste materials - solid Contact with corrosive chemicals

Risk Evaluation
Consider existing controls Engineering controls (Fumehood, glovebox, chains for cylinder, others) Administrative controls (Signage, training, SOPs, others) Personal Protective Equipment Existing control will not change the severity but only likelihood Severity & likelihood is based on 3 by 3 matrix and the respective criteria specified Risk rating is the product of severity by likelihood Refer to acceptability criteria on the recommended action for different risk rating For medium & high risk, additional controls will be required

Risk Evaluation
Severity Categories & Description
Level Human (Impact to Physical Being) Biological Impact Environmental Damage Property Damage (S$)

(1) Minor

No Injury or light injury requiring only first aid treatment (MC < 4 days MC)

May not cause human disease, if does, the disease is unlikely to spread to the community and there is usually effective prophylaxis or treatment available;


Up to $5,000

(2) Moderate

Any injury/ill health leading to 4 days MC or 1 day hospitalisation or leads to temporary disability

Can cause severe human disease, not ordinarily spread by casual contact from one individual to another; it may spread to the community, but there is usually effective prophylaxis or treatment available

Reversible but takes years

$5,001 to $50,000

(3) Major

Fatality, permanent Disability or life threatening disease

Can cause lethal human disease, may be readily transmitted from one individual to another, or from animal to human or vice-versa directly or indirectly, or casual contact, it may spread to the community; usually no effective prophylaxis or treatment available


More than $50,000

Risk Evaluation
Likelihood Categories & Description
Level (1) Remote (2) Possible (3) Frequent Events Frequency Undesired event which may occur but unlikely, once in 5 years Undesired event which is probable, once in a year Undesired event which probably occur in most circumstances, once or more in a month

Risk Evaluation
Risk matrix to determine Risk Level

Likelihood Severity Minor (1) Moderate (2) Major (3) Remote (1) Occasional (2) Frequent (3)

1 2 3

2 4 6

3 6 9

Risk Evaluation
Acceptability of Risk

Risk Score

Risk Level

Acceptability of Risk

Recommended Actions


Low Risk


No additional risk control measures required. To continue to monitor to ensure risk do not escalate to higher level. Acceptable to carry out the work activity; however, task need to be reviewed to bring risk level to As Low As Reasonably Practicable. Interim control measures such as administrative controls can be implemented. Supervisory oversight required.


Medium Risk

Moderately Acceptable


High Risk

Not Acceptable

Job must not be carried out until risk level is brought to at least medium risk level. Risk controls should not be overly dependant on personal protective equipment. Controls measures should focus on Elimination, substitution and engineering controls. Immediate Management intervention required to ensure risk being brought down to at least medium level before work can be commenced.

Risk Control
Using Hierarchy of Controls to reduce the risk Using the concept of As Low As Reasonably

Practicable (ALARP)

Hierarchy of Risk Control Measures

Additional Controls Responsible person and timeline

Additional control for risk rated more than 3 or medium & high risk Reduce risk to as low as reasonably practicable Who and When? Responsible person to implement the identified control measures and Timeline for completion update the risk assessment upon completion of the additional control measures

Record Keeping
1. Risk Assessment record has to be kept for at least 3 years under the WHS (RM) Regulations requirement.

2. Recommended to keep record as long as the process/activity is still valid, before end of any product life cycle or to tie in with the period other legislation requires pertaining to the particular process/activity.

Implementation & Review

1. Management staff or Principle Investigator will need to approve the implementation of control measures.

2. Monitoring of the process or activity has to be carried to ensure that there is no residual risk or additional risk arising from the control measures.
3. Risk assessors have to check or monitor the new implementation of control measures and to communicate with respective lab or operational personnel. 4. Review on Risk Assessment to be carried on the following basis: - At lease once every three years base on legislative requirements - After an accident/incident occurrence - Any change in process or activity

is a programme spearheaded by the Workplace Safety and Health Advisory Committee (WSHAC) to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) improve their WSH performance.

The 5-stage process under bizSAFE allows SMEs to take a stepby-step approach to put in place the measures for better WSH performance. At the same time, SMEs will also be recognized for their efforts with certification at each level.

For more information: Ministry of Manpower Singapore Workplace Safety and Health Council Workplace Safety and Health Institute