Chapter 4
Workplace Safety & Health
Reference: WSH Council
Prepared by: Ng Choy Mei
What Workplace Safety & Health covers
The Workplace Safety and Health Act is an
essential part of the new framework to cultivate
good safety habits in all individuals.
It requires stakeholders to take practicable
measures to ensure the safety and health of
workers and other people that are affected by
the work being carried out.
Workplace Safety & Health
The Workplace Safety & Health
The three guiding principles are:
• Reducing risks at source, requiring all
stakeholders to eliminate or reduce the risks
they create;
• Instilling greater ownership of safety and
health outcomes by industry; and
• Preventing accidents through higher penalties
for poor safety management
The Workplace Safety & Health Act
The Workplace Safety and Health Act has four key
• it places the responsibility for workplace safety on all
• it focuses on Workplace Safety & Health systems and
• it facilitates effective enforcement through the
issuance of remedial orders.
• it imposes higher penalties for non-compliance and
risky behaviour.
What the Act covers:
All workplaces, unless exempted by the WSH Act
Responsibilities of stakeholders
Hazardous substances
Machinery & equipment
All workplaces, unless exempted by
the WSH Act
• The Workplace Safety & Health Act covers all factories
and workplaces of various risk levels and industries.
• A workplace is any premises where a
person carries out work.
• Some of these workplaces are further
classified as a factory.
A factory is any premises in which any of the following
is carried out:
• Examples of factories include a manufacturing plant, a
car-servicing workshop, a shipyard and a construction
Responsibilities of stakeholders
• The Workplace Safety & Health Act defines the
responsibilities for the following stakeholder groups:
If you are an employer
Protect the safety and health of employees or workers
working under your direct control. Duties include:
• conduct risk assessments to remove/
control risks to workers
• maintaining safe work facilities
• ensuring safety in machinery/equipment/plant.
• develop control measures for dealing with emergencies;
• Provide workers with adequate instruction/training/
Responsibilities of stakeholders
If you are a principal
Required to ensure that the contractor:
• has the competency to carry out the work;
• has taken adequate safety and health measures
necessary used by the contractor or the contractor’s
Note: A principal is any person or organization who
engages another person or organization to supply
labour or perform work under a contract for service.
Responsibilities of stakeholders
If you are an occupier
• You must ensure that the workplace, all
entrances to and exits from the workplace,
and all machinery within are safe and without
risk to the health of any person within those
premises, even if the person is not one of your
• An occupier may also be responsible for the
common areas used by your employees and
Responsibilities of stakeholders
If you are a manufacturer or supplier
• Ensure that any machinery, equipment you
provide is safe for use. You are required to:
• Provide proper information on the safe use of
the machinery
• Ensure that the machinery or
hazardous substance is safe for use
• Ensure that the machinery or hazardous
substance has been tested and examined so
that it is safe for use
Responsibilities of stakeholders
If you are an installer or erector of machinery
• Ensure that all machinery and equipment
installed or modified is safe and without
health risks when properly used.
If you are self-employed
• Required to take measures to ensure the
safety and health of other members of the
Responsibilities of stakeholders
If you are an employee
• Follow the safe working procedures
introduced at the workplace.
• Do not engage in any unsafe act that may
endanger lives.
• Use personal protective equipment provided
to secure your safety / health while working.
Do not tamper / misuse such items provided.
• Do not engage in any negligent act.
Hazardous substances
The following are classified as hazardous substances
under the Workplace Safety and Health Act:
Corrosive substances
Flammable substances
Gases under pressure
Organic peroxides
Oxidising substances
Pyrophoric substances
Self-heating substances
Self-reactive substances
Substances hazardous to
aquatic environment.
Substances which in
contact with water, or
emit flammable gases
Toxic substances
Machinery & equipment
Manufacturers and suppliers of following machinery &
equipment have the duty to ensure they are safe for use:
Scaffolds and any materials or components used to erect them
Lifting equipment
Power presses
Equipment or piping intended for operation under pressure
Equipment/piping intended to contain corrosive/toxic/flammable
Welding equipment or fitting necessary to enable its use
Materials used for the construction of support structures
Explosive powered tools
Equipment used for abrasive blasting, including any accessory, apparatus or
fitting necessary to enable its use and operation.
Workplace Safety and Health 2018
Achieving sustained improvements in
WSH performance
A national, strategic and long-term approach is vital for
Singapore to achieve sustained and continuous improvement
in WSH standards. To achieve this objective, the WSH 2018
was co-drafted by the WSHC and the Ministry of Manpower
(MOM). WSH 2018 spells out our national vision, the strategic
outcomes and the strategies required to achieve the 2018
vision. It aims to synergise the efforts and resources of all
stakeholders to achieve:
 The vision of "A safe and healthy workplace for everyone”;
 “A country renowned for the best practices in workplace
safety and health" and
 One of the best safety records in the world by bringing down
the national fatality rate to less than 1.8 per 100,000 workers
by 2018.
Strategic Outcomes:
a) The reduction in WSH incident rates;
b) Workplace safety and health as an integral part of business;
c) Singapore as a renowned Centre of Excellence for WSH; and
d) A progressive and pervasive WSH Culture.
In order to achieve the desired outcomes, the four identified
strategies below will help to guide the efforts of everyone,
namely the government, industry stakeholders, employers,
unions, workers, WSH professionals, professional and education
institutions as well as service providers, in strengthening WSH
improvements and paving the way towards safer and healthier
Strategy 1 - Build strong
capabilities to better manage WSH
Stakeholders to raise WSH performance.
Build strong capabilities including quality-training.
Monitor development of WSH competencies.
Improve risk management WSH capabilities,
competency development and delivery, providing
practical assistance to stakeholders, as well as building
a world-class WSH institute.
Strategy 2 - Implement an
effective regulatory framework
Target interventions and strong enforcement action
to develop based on trends and developments in the
Create industry ownership for WSH outcomes.
 Undertake strategic intervention, resolve systemic
lapses, extend enforcement reach and legislative
Strategy 3 – Promote benefits of
WSH and recognise best practices
Encourage employers to better understand the
benefits of good WSH performance.
Recognise employers and workers who
demonstrate good WSH practices and
encourages them to share their experiences. This
promotes cross-industry learning and facilitates
continuous improvement.
Outreach in WSH, recognition of WSH best
practices, driving WSH improvements through
large organisations, as well as creating a
business case for the management of WSH.
Strategy 4 - Develop strong
partnerships locally and internationally
works on inter-agency and inter-industry
Engage renowned experts to critique on the
development of WSH strategies and standards
in Singapore, as well as international
What is Safety Culture?
Values (Beliefs)
Four key components
WSH culture is about people, and their acceptance of WSH
as part of life. An organisation which strives to excel in
WSH must take active steps to create a workforce that
believes in its declared WSH Values, have the right
attitudes for the job, competent in what they are doing,
and exhibit the right set of behaviours.
Do you have these beliefs?
 accidents can’t be avoided
 We have done our best
 Accidents will not occurred again
 We must be productive at any cost
 Work can compromise safety up to a extent
Do your line staff has these beliefs?
 safety is not my responsibility
 Some body else have to take care of that
 I am doing it this way for so many years
 Go ask the safety department people
 It can’t happen to me!
Development of safety culture
Dependent State
Engineering measures taken to control hazards
• Physical measures (eg barricades, valves, PPEs,
Arrestors, Insulators, LVSPs, Ventilation)
• Sound engineering standards as mandatory
• High level of supervision
• OSH Regime based on Inspections, Checklists
• Clear Rewards and Punishments
Development of safety culture
Independent State
Implement WSH Management System (WSHMS).
• Risk Assessment
• Safe work procedures and method statements
• Training
• Emergency preparedness
• Incident investigation
• Certification under OHSAS 18000, SS 506,ISRS….
Development of safety culture
Interdependent State
Building trust between workers and
management, having a common set of beliefs,
and embracing a common culture of WSH
•Ingredients of WSH Culture
•Management providing leadership in WSH
•WSH Centric Business Policies
•WSH as part of core business objectives
•Accountability to WSH at all levels
•Teamwork to achieve WSH results
Climbing the WSH Culture Ladder
Common hazards at workplace
Work-related injuries and diseases occur as a result
of unsafe acts and unsafe conditions. Unsafe acts
usually occur when employees are unaware of
hazards or the proper work practices (not adopting
the proper methods when lifting heavy objects or not
using gloves when handling hazardous chemicals).
Unsafe conditions refer to hazardous physical
conditions of the work environment and equipment.
(a slippery floor or a poorly ventilated office).
Work-related accidents and illness can be prevented
by recognising the hazards associated with the task to
be undertaken and taking the necessary prevention
Common Terminology-WSH Act 2006
“Hazard” is anything with the potential to cause bodily
injury (include physical, chemical, biological, mechanical,
electrical or ergonomic hazard).
“Risk” is the likelihood that a hazard will cause a specific
bodily injury to any person.
“Risk assessment” means the process of evaluating the
probability and consequences of injury or illness arising
from exposure to an identified hazard, and determining the
appropriate measures for risk control.
“Accident” is any unintended event which causes bodily
injury to a person, but does not include any bodily injury
sustained by a person
Common workplace safety and health
•Falls from height
•Noise hazard
•Electrical hazard
•Fire hazard
•Chemical hazard
•Manual handling hazard
•Confined space hazard
•Slips and trips on same level
•Struck by or against objects
•Indoor air quality issue
Slips, Trips and Falls
Potential slip and trips
Recommended preventive
 Keep floors/ stair dry
and clean
 Poor floor conditions
 Repair broken and
(e.g. Wet floor,
cracked floors
uneven surfaces)
 Obstruction or
 Good housekeeping
protruding objects in
 Sufficient lighting
 Appropriate type of
Common hazards at workplace
An unattended open
drawer can become a trip
and fall hazard
Proper Warning Signs to
warn against liquid spills
Falls from Height
Any work activity that involves access to positions that
cannot be reached when standing on the ground should
be regarded as "work at height".
Falls from height Sources Safe Use of Ladders
Poor ladder conditions (e.g.
shaky ladder, bent ladder)
Carrying load while climbing
up or down a
ladder (no threepoint contact)
Check ladders if in good
condition before and after use.
Use ladders on hard, evenleveled, non-slippery surfaces.
Face ladder when standing or
climbing it.
Always maintain three-point
contact with the ladder
Falls from Height
• Check ladders if in good condition before
and after use.
• Use ladders on hard, even-leveled, nonslippery surfaces.
• Face ladder when standing or climbing it.
• Always maintain three-point contact with
the ladder
Falls from Height
Struck by Object
A “struck by” injury refers to an injury as a result of
being hit by falling or flying objects.
Potential sources: struck by
Overstacked/overloaded shelves.
Storing heavy or frequently used
objects above shoulder height.
Reaching for objects stored on
shelves where objects cannot be
clearly seen.
Standing or working underneath
works being carried out at height
Recommended preventive
Do not overload shelves and
Stack materials in stable way
Store heavy or frequently used
objects at lower shelves
Use step ladders to reach high
Barricades and signs to warn of
overhead work
Struck by Object
Falling Shelves
Poor housekeeping
Struck by Object
Recommended preventive
Potential sources:
Mark glass doors with
Bump into doors /glass
coloured/translucent tape
Bump into person/object Ensure sufficient space to
(open drawers or cabinet) move around in work area
Manual Handling
Manual handling is any activity which
• Lifting heavy objects
• Jerk to lift an object off the floor
• Running with heavy object
• Carrying objects by the straps or tapes
Place one foot at
the side of the
load and one
foot behind the
your body
equally to
both feet.
Ensure a good
grip on object
before moving off.
Manual Handling
Manual handling puts employees at the risk of
musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) with sprains and
strains on the back being one of the most common.
•Symptoms of MSD include:
•Tingling sensation;
•Weakness in affected body part; and/or
•Stiffness of joints.
Static posture
Stand or sit for long hours
Control Measures
Encourage employees to stretch
and move about at work stations
Anti-fatigue mats or chairs
Repetitive movements
Using same joints and muscle
groups over extended period
(e.g. packing bread, intensive
data entry)
Control Measures
Short regular breaks
Staff rotation
Manual Handling
• Use of anti-fatigue mat helps to relieve strains
on back for employees
• who need to stand for prolonged periods
Office Ergonomics
Upright or slightly reclined sitting posture
Top of monitor screen at eye level
Shoulders are relaxed
Frequently used objects within reach
Electrical Hazards
Potential sources:
•Defective equipment
•Damaged electrical
•Exposed wires
•Overloaded circuits,
plugs or extension
•Wet/damp conditions
Recommended preventive
•No overloading
•Remove defective appliances
•Inspect and maintain electrical
appliances and power cords
•Keep power cords away from
heat, water and oil
•Use approved electrical
appliances or plugs
Electrical Hazards
Fire Hazards
Potential sources:
Recommended preventive
•Overloading of power •Ensure no overloading at
electrical points
•Misuse of electrical
•Follow electrical appliances’
recommendations and
•Poor housekeeping
•Establish emergency
evacuation route of escape or
emergency plan
Mechanical Hazards
All mechanical action or motion is hazardous,
but in varying degrees.
Potential sources:
Recommended preventive
•Rotating, Reciprocating
and transverse motions
•In-running nip-points
•Cutting actions
•Punching, shearing and
bending actions
•Enclosure guards
•Interlocking guards
•Automatic guards
•Remote control, placement,
feeding and ejecting.
Mechanical Hazards
• Examples of mechanical hazards.
Chemical Hazards
Depending on the nature of job, employees may
be required to handle industrial chemicals that
are toxic, flammable or corrosive.
Chemicals, upon entering human body, can lead
to a variety of adverse health effects, including
immediate effects or long-term effects.
Chemical Hazards
Occupational diseases caused by chemicals are:
•Lung disease
Occupational lung disease
Chemical Hazards
Chemical hazards
Potential sources:
Recommended preventive measures
• breathing in,
• skin or eye
• Ingestion
• injection.
•Store products in their original
•Use chemicals according to
manufacturer’s instruction and
•Avoid mixing cleaning products.
•wear protective equipment, PPE.
Chemical Hazards
Reading the safety data sheet
Biological Hazards
•Biological hazards refer to organic
matters produced that are harmful to
human health.
•These include parasites, viruses,
bacteria, fungi and protein.
•The harmful effects are mainly of
three types - infections, allergy and
Biological Hazards
Potential sources:
Recommended preventive
measures by elimination
• breathing in,
• skin or eye absorption,
• Ingestion
• injection.
•Use Respiratory protection masks.
•Wear Protective clothing.
•Wear Goggles/Face shields
•Use Gloves
•Use Shoe covers
•Sterilize regularly
•Remember Personal hygiene
Biological Hazards
Eliminating biological hazards
Environmental Hazards
Environment is the things around.
Environmental hazard is the risk of damage to
the environment eg air pollution, water
pollution, toxins, radioactivity
Environmental Hazards
Occupational disease: Recommended preventive
measures by elimination
•Noise induced
•Environmental monitoring.
•Medical surveillance.
•Wear ear plug (noise levels
exceeding 85 dBA).
Construction Hazards
• The construction industry is one of the most
hazardous industries.
• The top four causes of construction fatalities
are: Falls, Struck-By, Caught-In/Between and
Construction Hazards
Prevent Falls
• Wear and use personal fall arrest equipment.
• Install and maintain perimeter protection.
• Cover and secure floor openings and label
floor opening covers.
• Use ladders and scaffolds safely.
Construction Hazards
Prevent Struck-By
• Never position yourself between moving and
fixed objects.
• Wear high-visibility clothes near
Construction Hazards
Prevent Caught-In/Between
• Never enter an unprotected trench or
excavation without an adequate protective
system in place.
• Make sure the trench or excavation is
protected either by sloping, shoring, benching
or trench shield systems.
Construction Hazards
Prevent Electrocutions
• Locate and identify utilities before starting work.
• Look for overhead power lines when operating any
• Maintain a safe distance away from power lines;.
• Do not operate portable electric tools unless they are
grounded or double insulated.
• Use ground-fault circuit interrupters for protection.
• Be alert to electrical hazards when working with
ladders, scaffolds or other platforms.
Risk Assessment
Risk Assessment is the process of
1. Identifying and analyzing safety and health
hazards associated with work. (Find it)
2. Assessing the to control the hazards and
reduce level of risks involved. (assess it)
3. Prioritizing measures to control the hazards
and reduce the risks. (Fix it)
Risk Assessment
Steps to Risk Assessment
Health Identification
Risk Evaluation
Risk Control
Risk Assessment
Importance of risk Assessment
• A legal requirement under the Workplace
Safety and Health (Risk Management)
• A key instrument to reduce risk at the
• Makes stakeholders accountable for
managing the risk they create.
Risk Assessment
Recognise risk at workplace.
• The hazards associated with the activity of
each process.
• The type of potential accident and incident.
• The persons exposed to the hazards.
Risk Assessment
Risk Matrix
The risk matrix idea is used to be decisive, nonargumentative and action oriented.
Risk Assessment
Acceptability of Risk
Risk Assessment
Types of Risk Control
The control of hazards and reduction of risks can be
accomplished by following the WSH Hierarchy of Control
Risk Assessment
Types of Risk Control
Elimination of risk refers to the total removal of the
worker’s exposure to the hazards.
This involves substituting a process or a product with a
less hazardous
Engineering Controls
Engineering controls are physical means that include
changes to the work environment or work processes
Risk Assessment
Types of Risk Control
Administrative Controls
These reduce exposure to a hazard by adherence to
procedures or instructions. Documentation should
emphasize all the steps to be taken and the controls to be
used in carrying out the activity safely.
Personal Protective Equipment
Used only as a last resort, the success of this control
depends critically on the protective equipment being
chosen correctly and worn at all times.