Are we really improving our safety holistically?
The Singapore Safety society was rejoice to learn that work at height related accidents dropped to a record low early this year when MOM released a statistical compilation of such incidents. Such news amplifies the effort placed onto the construction industry (particularly) and it deems as success campaign.
However, the low point of the informational revealing of Work Safety and Health statistical studies was that the rate of traffic related accidents increased. This statistics was rather quite surprising as it coincides with a drop in another segment. Could it be related?
The effort from both companies and WSH Council shows tremendous improvement with statistical data backing it up. The dropped in workplace fatalities and injuries proves that the ongoing effort has been a success. MOM sets a strict rule to abide to as companies was required to send reports on a frequent basis and random site visits. This was the catalyst to have workplace safety a priority as hefty fines was also implemented concurrently for violators.
"MOM’s inspections will target three areas: (a) vehicular safety in the construction, logistics and transport sector..." - MOM, Aug 2017
With the main topic now being the increase in Traffic related accidents, the issue here was that such incidents not only affect workers but public as well. The recent major accident involving workers being hurled out of a lorry transportation spells trouble yet again for the Workplace Safety and Health community as it could mean that there was a loop hole in the overall success of safety.
The lorry accident caused a major stir in the media as the construction industry was brought to the limelight. Questions like are worker suppose to be transported with lorry and such was somewhat thrown around, however, the main issue that was less touched was - was safety being adopted off-site?
Many a times when workers or person in concern are off-site, they tend to switch off from being in the 'a safety-ambassador mode'. As safety was seen as a stringent exercise to abide to, person in concern would rather leave the 'safety-actions' on site as an action to be let off the burden of being a responsible worker.
Such action will be a norm where safety precautions and action are not taken seriously as they lack understanding. Following a safe procedure will always be related to slower process and hence increases the work time needed. With all this in mind, are there really any solutions to counter such action?
In fact, the only solution that will stay on forever is to create a habitual system that are done willingly. On top of that, having each any everyone to understand why and what are the consequences should they fail to adopt the system. It is unlike how things are being carried around these days where safety precautions are like rules. Worst still, rules that only apply to them on site. As such, off-site, no such relation was rekindled when it comes to safety back again.
Many projects might not be equipped with a personnel that is well verse with different segment of specialty and some, has their safety personnel be too busy with a few in their hand that makes everything too much for one to handle - a cost saving move so they say. However, some Q.E.S.H consultation and advisory company do provide services that will heighten the standard of safety for your company. Such company, allows safety personnel to be made available at a part time basis where during that period, work is on-going. Such alternative service allows cost to be kept at a minimum but it does not compromise the requirements of safety to be met. The personnel that are under such company has huge experience in the safety industry and also does have multiple specialization that caters for various needs such as environmental needs or work at height safety.
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