Tripartite Oversight Committee on Workplace Health
With seven in 10 of the resident population in the workforce, the workplace is an ideal setting to influence safety and health behaviours. Since workers spend an average of nine hours per day at work, introducing safety and health programmes at workplaces allows employees to conveniently participate and benefit from these initiatives.
Helping workers keep safe and healthy is important to allow them to stay employable and economically productive. With this aim, two National Tripartite Committees on Workplace Health (Tricoms) were established before 2010 to formulate strategies to improve workers’ health. To ensure success in this effort, it was deemed essential to have the active collaboration of government, employers and the union. The Tricoms’ three-pronged plan was to promote the concept of holistic safety and health, develop interventions relevant for mature workers and create workplace health promoting ecosystems. The Implementation Steering Committee (ISC) on Workplace Health was formed in 2011 to put the plan in motion. In 2014, the Tripartite Oversight Committee on Workplace Health (TOC) was convened to build on the work of the ISC.
The key objectives of the TOC were:
In its three-year term the committee had made headway in advancing workplace safety and health, benefiting over 300,000 workers. In particular, the committee had raised the awareness of holistic safety and health, impacted the overall health of hard-to-reach mature workers, and increased the adoption of healthier behaviours among workers in business clusters.
It is important to look at workplace safety and health issues holistically as they are inter-linked. Strong practices in workplace safety and health lead to long-term cost savings in medical utilisation and expenditure, reduction in absenteeism and increased productivity, amongst other benefits. Total Workplace Safety and Health (Total WSHTM) was first launched in 2014 by the Workplace Safety and Health Council (WSHC) to increase awareness and understanding of holistic safety and health. Total WSHTM has demonstrated its usefulness and effectiveness in companies which have adopted it, and we will continue to invest efforts in raising awareness of Total WSHTM given its ever growing importance in our current landscape.
These efforts achieved the following:
Key learnings culled from the programmes implemented during the term of the TOC are:
The TOC recommends to continue this close and effective collaboration among unions, employers and government to bring about more impactful workplace health and safety programmes to workers. The TOC will focus on:
For the full Tripartite Oversight Committee Report, please click here.