The Work Injury Compensation Act

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1 issue 06 MARCH 2008 S A F E T Y + H E A L T H I N V O L V E S E V E R Y O N E The Work Injury Compensation Act How It Affects You 03 simply the best where second place is just not good enough 06 building safety and health in your business more on the Expansion of the WSH Act 08 protect your hearing wear it right! 4th Workers Poster Drawing Competition 08

2 02 s t r a t e g i c s t r i d e s MAR 2008 Nobody Gets Hurt A Simple but Challenging Goal ExxonMobil is one of the world s largest and most diverse energy companies. And with regards to Workplace Safety and Health (WSH), their motto is clear - Nobody Gets Hurt. Easily understood by all, this objective applies to everyone from the CEO to employees, contractors and even interns. More than a goal, Nobody Gets Hurt is a way of life. This commitment to WSH has enabled ExxonMobil to be an industry leader in this area, with few safety incidents. Inculcating the Safety Habit ExxonMobil s safety framework is built on the Operations Integrity Management System (OIMS) and Behaviour Based Safety (BBS) Programme. OIMS is a management system which provides the framework for managing safety, security, health and environmental risks at ExxonMobil facilities worldwide. OIMS has 11 elements, each with clearly defined expectations that every operation must fulfill, from inception through to completion. It helps ensure that every operating organisation has the resources, skills, systems, procedures and tools to perform the job at hand, safely, reliably and with environmental care. Business line managers at every ExxonMobil location across the globe are expected to comply with all relevant OIMS requirements. Encouraging Employee Ownership Because ExxonMobil understands that effective WSH depends not only on systems but also human behaviour, the BBS programme was adopted to focus on just that. The BBS programme is based on the rationale that safety encompasses everyday activities both on and off the job. To this end, the programme incorporates behaviour, motivation and skills that reinforce safety as a value or core operating principle. For the system to be effective, employees must feel at ease to blow the whistle if their peers are not observing safety practices. Employees are encouraged to take ownership to highlight any danger or risks at work through personal interventions and observations. The programme also calls for staff at all levels to try to eliminate unsafe work behaviours through the provision of constructive feedback as well as recommendation of corrective measures to address WSH concerns raised. Future Challenges: Singapore s WSH Landscapes One challenge to fostering safe workplaces is the myth that safety programmes are a burden, which imposes additional operational costs. Workplace safety is about building a culture. If we transplant our programmes to a place that has not developed a culture of safety, they will not work. Only when there is a culture of safety, can the systems and programmes fit in place. It works for us as we all understand what Nobody Gets Hurt means. - Hans Pijnenburg Interface Manager, Singapore Chemical Plant, ExxonMobil Asia Pacific Pte Ltd ExxonMobil s Hans Pijnenburg feels that safety is a good indicator of the quality of a company s operations. He shared that one way to improve Singapore s WSH landscape would be to get companies to understand that improving WSH standards is not only their responsibility, but that it can also enhance their bottom line. The Workplace Safety and Health Advisory Committee (WSHAC) was formed in September 2005 to raise workplace safety and health standards in Singapore. The WSHAC comprises of leaders from the major industry sectors, including oil and gas, construction, manufacturing, academia and associations to drive industry participation and ownership. It has four sector specific sub-committees in the areas of construction, metalworking, shipbuilding & ship-repairing and healthcare as well as two functional sub-committees on competency, education and training as well as engagement and publicity. SHINE is a quarterly newsletter on Workplace Safety and Health issues. MICA (P) No 261/06/2006 For contributions, feedback or more information, please to the WSHAC Secretariat at publisher Workplace Safety and Health Advisory Committee address Ministry of Manpower, 18 Havelock Road #03-02 Singapore contact Tel (65) Fax (65) No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the publisher.

3 Simply The Best For Mr Duraisamy Packiaraj, Safety Office with Tiong Seng Contractors Pte Ltd, second place is not good enough. Only the BEST will do! Share with us your passion for Workplace Safety and Health. When I started my career as a WSH professional some 12 years ago, I saw that WSH is important in Singapore. I have stayed on for so long because this job gives me great satisfaction when I know that I am making the workplace safer for the workers and they can go home safely everyday. As a WSH officer, I feel I am constantly value adding to my company s business. I am proud to be able to provide WSH solutions that serve to save lives. Share with us some of your most memorable moments as a safety officer. One of my most memorable moments was a tunneling project I did in I was tasked to educate new Korean staff and workers on Singapore WSH requirements and implementations. The project achieved zero reportable accidents and zero occupational diseases and even won the ASPA 2004 Silver award. Also, some of my WSH innovations, like the easy rebar protectors and safe electrical cable hangers were implemented in all of my company s projects to eliminate electrical hazards. Such achievements and recognition makes me very happy and motivates me to do more. What in your view is the attitude towards WSH in Singapore? There is definitely an improving attitude towards WSH in Singapore. With the new Act in place, everyone is expected to take responsibility and ownership of WSH. Now for example, our developers and architects are more actively involved in risk assessments before the project starts, to help contractors reduce risks on the work sites. What are some of the difficulties faced when first starting up a safety programme in a project? Communication between the contactors and management is definitely one of the most difficult. However, my chief concern is still safety. I have to do my part and make them understand the WSH requirements, so that the work will be carried out safely. Another would be the planning of WSH programmes for my workers and contractors. The challenge is how to raise their awareness of hazards faced in their line of work as well as how to get them involved and understand the relevance and importance of WSH, not only for themselves but also for their work mates and families. What do you think companies should do to implement or improve the safety and health conditions in their workplaces? Top management commitment is vital. It will definitely help drive WSH implementation and improvement at the workplace. WSH champions should also be employed either on company or project level to create a positive WSH mindset. It will help if the WSH champions are innovative and proactive in addressing safety and health issues at work. What advice would you give someone, who is considering a career as a safety officer? The individual must be passionate about the work. He must be able to put himself in the workers shoes and think of ways to help make the work environment safer and healthier for them. 03 s t r a t e g i c s t r i d e s MAR 2008

4 04 s a f e t y o n s t a g e The Work Injury Compensation Act From 1 April 2008, a new Work Injury Compensation Act (WICA) will kick in, allowing employees access to a simple and no-fault compensation system for work-related injuries. How It Affects You MAR 2008 The new WICA is a landmark change from the current Workmen s Compensation Act that covers only manual workers or those earning $1,600 and below. By covering most employees under WICA, MOM has highlighted the importance of allowing basic protection for employees in work-related accidents. This also creates an added impetus for employers to put safety and health measures in place. Employers have been given the flexibility to decide on how to manage their liabilities for the newly covered group of employees. Other changes under the WICA include higher compensation limits, especially for younger workers with more productive years ahead, and a more efficient and effective compensation system. It also puts in place stronger penalties to deter non-payment of compensation by employers and fraudulent claims by employees. While the WICA will put in place a stronger, more robust system of basic work injury compensation for over 2 million employees, it would invariably add to business costs. In a more positive light, hopefully with more awareness and management of WSH, the amount of claims will correspondingly decrease. More information on the WICA can be found at

5 Example of the revision 25-year old who died in work-related accident ($1,500 monthly wages) Under the new WICA $140,000 Under the old WCA - $111, year old who suffered 100% permanent incapacity in work-related accident ($1,500 monthly wages) Under the new WICA $180,000 Under the old WCA $140,000 Key Objectives of the Work Injury Compensation Act The WICA aims to complement efforts to strengthen the safety and health landscape in Singapore and shape better workplace safety and health behaviours through the following four key objectives: Extend the coverage of the Act Coverage of the Act will be extended by about 70% to 2.1 million employees. Increase compensation levels This is to keep compensation levels payable under the Act in pace with wages, which have gone up by about 25% since Keeping this in mind, the minimum and maximum amounts of compensation has been increased. Ensure fairness Claim processes have been tightened to ensure that employees do not exploit the claims system and that employer interests are safeguarded, by limiting their liability for medical expenses. Enhance offences, penalties and MOM s enforcement powers Penalties for selected existing offences have been increased and new offences have also been created. Finally, the accident reporting requirements under the WICA have also been streamlined to be similar to those under the WSH Act. These are some useful e-services for WSH-related matters. ireport Report any accident, dangerous occurrence or occupational disease reportable under the Workplace Safety and Health Act, Workmen s Compensation Act or Work Injury Compensation Act. FAQs on workplace safety and health Get answers to your questions on workplace safety and health with our FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions). Simply enter your question and click Ask! OSH Alert Subscribe to OSH Alert and be informed of the latest safety and health trends and announcements. Log on to for more details. 05 s a f e t y o n s t a g e MAR 2008

6 06 MAR 2008 s a f e t y o n s t a g e Expansion of the WSH Act Building Safety and Health In Your Business More employees can look forward to safer and healthier workplaces when six new sectors are brought under the fold of the Workplace Safety and Health Act from 1 March The expanded coverage is in line with MOM s aim to gradually cover all workplaces so as to protect the safety and health of all employees. Currently, the new six sectors include: hotels/food and beverage services allied to the transportation of goods such as logistics healthcare veterinary landscape care and maintenance service water supply, sewerage and waste management. Enlightened stakeholders from these sectors support the move to create safer workplaces. Mr Tony Kang, Project Manager of Swee Bee Contractor, a landscape care company, shared his belief in the importance of WSH, It is definitely beneficial over the long run, both in terms of cost savings and improving staff morale. Dr Gregory Chan, Consultant Occupational Health Physician of the Singapore General Hospital, highlighted the need to engage all employees, The main thing is education and raising awareness of the staff to these safety and health issues. If the staff understands the adverse health effects of chemicals, they will naturally be more aware and cautious when handling them. A whole series of seminars is already underway to help companies in the six sectors engage their employees and put in place WSH measures. The Workplace Safety and Health Advisory Committee (WSHAC) have also worked with the Ministry of Manpower to prepare industryspecific guidelines, posters and other collaterals. These materials are available on

7 Sitting On The Job vvvvv 20-28º 07 A large percentage of the Singapore workforce sit on the job - many in front of computers. The human body was not designed to sit for extended periods of time, or work in awkward positions that chronically contract or stretch muscles. Poor sitting posture and poorly designed workspaces are major causes of neck and back pain. Therefore, a well-designed workstation and proper sitting postures are essential to reducing and preventing potential problems caused by the demands of today s jobs. Ideal Office Ergonomic Features Have a large enough workspace that allows you freedom of movement When using a computer terminal, overhead lighting should come from the side and not directly above Sitting posture while at your computer should be as follows: feet flat on floor, knees at 90 degree angle, back resting against back of chair, shoulders relaxed, elbows at 90 degree angle and wrists in neutral position Document holders should be at eye level to avoid eye muscle fatigue Work chair should be stable, adjustable for height and equipped with rollers Workplace Tip Follow the rule. For every 50 minutes you work sitting at your desk, take a 10 minute break. During your break, walk around, stretch out your muscles, mingle with co-workers or get a drink. Do whatever you want, as long as you are not sitting!!! Upper Back Lower Back (support lumbar curve) Sitting Bones (distributed pressure) Thigh Behind the Knee (distributed pressure) Expansion Of the Act How much do you know? º º When is the expansion of the WSH Act coming into effect? a) 1 March 2008 b) 1 April 2008 c) 1 May How many new sectors are targeted for the expansion of the WSH Act? a) 5 b) 6 c) Name 3 new sectors targeted for the expansion of the WSH Act. a) b) c) The first 50 entries will each receive a $20 NTUC voucher. Log onto to participate. The closing date for this contest is 9 May Arms (minimal bend at wrist) Area Behind the Knee (not touching seat pan) Feet (flat on floor or footrest) s a f e t y o n s i t e MAR 2008

8 08 i n s n a o f v e a t t y i o o n n i s n t a s g a e MAR 2008 f e t y 4TH WORKERS POSTER DRAWING COMPETITION 08 PROTECT YOUR HEARING WEAR IT RIGHT! The Workplace Safety and Health Act which currently covers some of the more high-risk sectors such as construction and shipbuilding will expand its coverage to six new sectors with effect from 1 March The selection is made on the basis of either higher accident rates or the potential for serious consequences due to any accident in the sector. The six sectors are: a) Services allied to the transport of goods, such as logistics and freight forwarding b) Landscape care and maintenance service activities c) Water supply, sewerage and waste management d) Hotels and restaurants e) Healthcare activities such as hospitals f) Veterinary activities Please attach the registration form at the back of the poster design, on the top left hand corner. Companies in the affected sectors can expect governmental assistance to help build up their capabilities to comply with the Act, from now till the effectual date. Specifically, the Risk Management Assistance Fund will be extended to small and medium enterprises, or SMEs, in these six sectors, to help them build up capabilities to conduct a RULES & REGULATIONS The organisers have the right to use the submitted entries for advertising and other promotional material including but not limited to the production of calendars, promotional posters, collaterals and competitions. REGISTRATION comprehensive FORM risk assessment portfolio. SUBMISSION DEADLINE 15 April 2008 Organisers have the right to replace the listed prize with another of equal or greater value. Each entry must be hand-drawn. It should be original in concept, design and execution. Any entry which has been reproduced from an existing photo, painting or any other work produced by another person is a violation of the competition rules and will not be accepted. NAME For more information, please log on to COMPANY COMPANY TEL NO. TOP PRIZE $500 2ND PRIZE $300 3RD PRIZE $150 Supervisors from each company please assist in collecting the entries and send to: Drawing to be submitted - not smaller than A3 size paper, using pastels, colored pencil, pencil, charcoal, ink, markers etc. The drawings will become the property of the organizers of this competition and will not be returned. NRIC / FIN National Workplace Safety and Health Campaign c/o Workplace Safety and Health Advisory Committee 18 Havelock Road (Mail Room) Singapore Tel No: / Attn: Mr Selvam / Ms Helenal COMPANY STAMP Unlimited entries may be submitted. Only one prize to be awarded for multiple submissions by the same person. TEN CONSOLATION PRIZES $10 value phone cards each Winners will be notified by post and phone. The use of offensive or defamatory content is not permitted. The decision regarding suitability of the art work will be made by a panel of qualified persons. The judges decision is final. A Safe and Healthy Workplace is Good Business - Make It Yours!

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