Thursday, December 10, 2009

Newly-Formed National Work at Height Safety Taskforce Releases Three-Pronged Plan to Prevent Falls At Work - WSH Bulletin

2 Dec 2009

The National Work at Height (WAH) Safety Taskforce, formed by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Council, has announced a three-pronged plan to improve the safety of work conducted at heights across workplaces.

The Taskforce, led by Mr Wong Weng Sun, President and CEO, Sembcorp Marine Ltd, outlined several targets, including:

• Halving current WAH fatality and injury rates by 2013 and further reduction by 2018
• Implementing Fall Protection Plans in all construction worksites and shipyards by 2012 and at all workplaces by 2015.

Together with WSH Council and MOM, the National WAH Safety Taskforce has analysed the contributing factors for past WAH incidents, and published the findings in a Safety Analysis and Recommendation Report on Work at Height. The Report highlighted seven contributing factors to WAH incidents including the lack of safe work procedures, and inadequate fall prevention or protection systems. (Click here to read the Report) To address these factors, the National WAH Safety Taskforce made three key recommendations:

Recommendation 1 - Building strong capabilities

The Taskforce recommends the implemention of Fall Protection Plans to manage WAH at a systemic level. The Taskforce and the WSH Council have introduced a new Code of Practice (CP) for Working Safely at Height (more details below) and a new WAH Kit for supervisors and workers. The Taskforce will also develop national WAH competency standards.

Recommendation 2: Promoting the benefits of WAH safety

The Taskforce will collaborate with relevant industry associations and partners to reach out to a wider audience, and promote the adoption of best practices. The Taskforce will develop a new FALLPROTECT Certification/Recognition Scheme to certify the Fall Protection Plan of companies, and recognise their commitment to safety. The WSH Council will develop a dedicated webpage to provide a one-stop resource for WAH information.

Recommendation 3: Enhancing the Intervention Framework for WAH

The Taskforce will work with various industry associations to introduce an “industry self-assessment” element. It will provide feedback to MOM on the review of existing legislation on WAH safety. MOM will also be looking at ways to extend enforcement reach to more workplaces.

Click here to read the media release and Report.

Code of Practice on Working Safely at Height

The new Code of Practice (CP) for Working Safely at Height issued by WSH Council describes a variety of fall prevention measures and devices that reduce the risk of falling from height. The CP highlights the Fall Protection Plan (FPP), which provides a systematic approach to eliminate or mitigate the risk of falling by ensuring that all reasonable fall protection measures and methods have been taken prior to the commencement of the work.

The CP for Working Safely at Height is available for download at the WSH Council’s website, HERE.

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