Work at Height Symposium focuses on driving technology adoption to reduce falls // U Safe Forum and Awards 2019

20 Nov 2019

Ref No.: 201119 (1)

UEN: S97SS0046G

Dear Valued ASPRI Members,

Work at Height Symposium focuses on driving technology adoption to reduce falls // U Safe Forum and Awards 2019

The Workplace Safety and Health Symposium on Work at Heights 2019 was held on 14 November 2019. Co-organised by the Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Council and the Institute of Technical Education (ITE), and supported by the Ministry of Manpower, the event aimed to encourage industry stakeholders to take concerted efforts in raising WSH awareness, promoting WSH ownership and encouraging the adoption of technology to address work at height risks.

In his opening address, Guest of Honour, Mr Zaqy Mohamad, Minister of State for Manpower and National Development, commended on the improvement by the industry in reducing the number of fatal falls from height cases over the last 10 years; from 24 cases in 2009 to 8 cases in 2018. He urged all stakeholders to sustain the momentum in fall prevention efforts by adopting and incorporating technology in work processes, levelling up the skills and capabilities of workers, and looking after workers’ health and well-being.

Mr Abu Bakar Bin Mohd Nor, Chairman of the WSH Council (National Work at Heights Safety) Taskforce shared on some of the key fall prevention efforts undertaken by the Taskforce to support the industry and sustain WSH improvements:

  • working with government agencies and research institutions to customise work at height solutions for the industry;
  • forming a Roofing Contractors Association to build up WSH competencies among roofing contractors and its workforce;
  • working with associations to conduct their own “Safety Time Out” events; and
  • organising a WSH video competition to raise awareness among workers on the risks associated with working at height.

The Symposium saw speakers and exhibitors imparting insights on design for safety and technology. There was also a special technology talk segment, where solution providers shared new technologies that address work at height risks, such as painting and inspection robots, a virtual reality simulator and video analytics software. Participants also had the opportunity to learn more about the new technologies through on-site demonstrations and hands-on experience.

About 500 participants, comprising industry stakeholders, ITE staff and students attended the event.

View MOS’ speech here.
View Chairman Abu Bakar’s welcome address here.

U Safe Forum and Awards 2019

Organised by the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) and supported by the Ministry of Manpower and the Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Council, the 2nd “U Safe Forum & Awards” was held on 11 November 2019 at the Devan Nair Institute for Employment and Employability. The event aims to enhance awareness and ownership of workplace safety and health, and recognise the achievements of unions, unionised companies, and SME partners in championing progressive workplace practices and creating safer and healthier workplaces for workers.

Guest-of-Honour, Minister of State for Manpower and National Development Mr Zaqy Mohamad said, “I encourage the unions to continue championing progressive workplace safety and health practices among employers. This can take the form of adopting systematic reporting of near misses, empowering workers to stop work when they detect risky situations and appointing WSH representatives to identify and mitigate risks. Strong union activism on WSH will create even safer and healthier workplaces for our brothers and sisters.”

Echoing the importance of NTUC and NTUC-affiliated unions in pushing for pervasive WSH, NTUC Assistant Secretary-General Desmond Choo said, “The well-being of our workers is a top priority for all in the Labour Movement. Whether we are workers, union leaders or  employers, we must take responsibility for our own safety and the safety of fellow workers. The Labour Movement will continue to rally our workers to take greater ownership of safety, improve their WSH competencies and push for greater adoption of technology to make every workplace safer and healthier.” 

Besides celebrating the achievements of 11 deserving unions, unionised companies, and NTUC U SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) partners, participants also had the opportunity to hear from speakers on the importance of WSH ownership, learn about the available assistance programmes and technologies to improve WSH at an exhibition, and participate in a learning journey to one of three hosting companies (3M, Nestle and Weishen) to learn about their WSH practices.

Some 500 participants comprising union leaders, safety officers, company and government representatives attended the event.