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Singapore’s LTA Recognises SMRT at the annual Workplace Safety and Health Excellence Award Convention 2020

Workplace safety and health (WSH) is crucial for all businesses, regardless of their size or industry. In Singapore, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) places considerable emphasis on incorporating a culture of safety and health in all workplaces. MOM wants all organisations and industries to focus on how to enhance WSH systems and use technology to provide safe working environments. The government, employers, and workers’ unions work together to actively promote good WSH practices.

Workers in the transportation sector are at unusually high risk of injuries, hazards and potential accidents. According to statistics from the Workplace Safety and Health Institute in Singapore, the accident frequency rate for the industry is 3.2 as of 2018. The Land Transport Authority (LTA) is responsible for ensuring that public transport operators, contractors, and partners must follow workplace safety, health and environment management practices. To recognise the exemplary works by operators or contractors and their healthy and safe work culture, LTA awards them at the Annual Safety, Health, and Environmental Award Convention (ASAC) every year.

This year, LTA recognised SMRT Corporation, a leading multi-modal transportation service provider in Singapore, at the 22nd Annual Safety, Health and Environmental Award Convention (ASAC).

• SMRT received a Certificate of Excellence for Safe Bus Operator of the Year for its Woodlands Bus Zone.
• The East West Line operated by SMRT received a Certificate of Merit for the Safe Rail Line of the Year.
• SMRT Taxis received a Certificate of Merit for Safe Taxi Operator of the Year.

As a caring employer, SMRT offers several workplace benefits such as in-house depot clinics, health and lifestyle programmes, and staff facilities at bus interchanges. The operator regularly communicates with the Union to understand the needs of its employees. SMRT has formed a Technical Safety Board that reviews and monitors its transport systems, equipment, and facilities for safe operations. There is a Safety and Security Steering Committee that governs the company’s safety and security regimes.

SMRT is known for providing robust training programmes to its employees, from rail workers to bus operators and taxi partners. With certifications like ISO 9001, ISO 14001, and OHSAS 18001, SMRT has been able to follow international standards and best practices in quality, health, safety and environmental management.

Commenting on the importance of its workers in the success of the business, SMRT Chairman Seah Moon Ming said, “Since introducing Kaizen in February 2018, we have seen a greater sense of ownership in our employees when they are carrying out their work. We are heartened by their efforts to improve themselves and the work they do to achieve higher productivity.”

Two key award recipients at ASAC include Samsung C & T and China State Construction Engineering Corporation Ltd that received the inaugural Workplace Health Award. China State Construction Engineering Ltd was recognised for effectively implementing targeted health intervention programmes. 75 organisations including SMRT received accolades across the remaining 21 award categories.

Conclusion
The Workplace Safety and Health Act of Singapore states that employers must manage risks at work while employees must adhere to safe work practices. Employers are required to appropriate provide appropriate facilities, support, and training to employees to prevent any sort of incidents at the workplace. By receiving a Certificate of Excellence and a Certificate of Merit for Rail, Bus, and Taxi operations, SMRT has proved that its people are at the heart of the organisation. The operator is following all WSH standards set by the government and offering upskilling programmes so that its employees thrive in the transport landscape of the future.

About the Author
Martin Kim
Martin is a professor of Public Health and Occupational Safety at a leading university in Singapore. He has written various articles on workplace safety and health for various sectors in online magazines. He also works as a freelance consultant and helps companies implement workplace safety processes.

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