Speaking at the recent Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Tech Symposium, he called the situation “worrying,” and urged companies to use technology to create safer workplaces.
“Let us embrace and harness technology to push new frontiers to bring about safer, healthier and more productive workplaces for our workers in a manpower-lean workforce," he said.
He added that technology should “nurture a stronger culture of prevention and improve safety and health in the workplace” in key three areas:
1) promotion and training
2) monitoring and evaluation
3) developing new work processes and tools
Tan said all WSH courses will fall under the Workforce Skill Qualification (WSQ) framework by 2019, and “include innovative curriculum and methods to equip workers with up-to-date knowledge and relevant competencies.”
He reported that companies could integrate the upgraded SNAP@MOM mobile app into their own systems of monitoring workplace accidents.
“[It] will also have a Performance Statistical Dashboard that can be customised to the company’s unique specifications,” he said. “It will allow them to track, review and analyse their safety and health statistics so that effective preventive measures can be implemented to improve their safety performance.”
He added that the reports will not be sent directly to the Ministry of Manpower, but to the proper authorities within the organisation.
Tan told more than 400 participants that universities and private firms are developing new technology to help staff become more efficient and safer at work.
He cited one example of Volvo’s active safety systems, which can be installed in trucks to provide a 360-degree view of their surroundings. This gives big rig drivers better control on the road and worksite, thereby reducing the risk of accidents.
“We owe it to our workers to keep them safe and healthy so that they go to work and return home safely to their families every single day,” he concluded.
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Preliminary findings on workplace safety showed 66 workers died at work last year, according to the Minister of State for Manpower, Sam Tan.