Inaugural "Design for Safety" Seminar to Support New Workplace Safety and Health Regulations

Press Release (ePRNews.com) - Singapore - Jan 19, 2016 - The inaugural “Design for Safety” (DfS) Seminar took place today to kick-start the gearing up of local engineers and architects towards compliance of the new mandatory Workplace Safety and Health (DfS) Regulations that will take effect on 1 August 2016, through the promotion of best DfS practices. 

Following the gazette of the Workplace Safety and Health (DfS) Regulations on 10 July 2015, the DfS Seminar is the first major platform focusing on enhancing industry awareness, competencies and readiness in the incorporation of safety features or risk control solutions into building and structure design plans upfront. Its objectives are to help the industry achieve safer machinery, facilities and buildings for the workers who build and maintain them as well as contribute to worksite productivity.

Addressing safety issues at design stage would ensure risks in construction and maintenance are mitigated early. Engineers and architects working with relevant stakeholders could play a significant role in managing risks and bringing value to a project. By organising the DfS Seminar, IES aims to assist engineers in the built environment industry to fully grasp the new regulatory framework and its requirements ahead of its implementation; and equip them with the relevant DfS skillsets and competencies, so that they can help bring about significant progress in workplace safety and health.

Er. Chong Kee Sen, President of IES

Featuring eminent DfS expert from the United Kingdom (UK), Mr. Graham Hayne, the four-day event commenced with a one-day seminar today and will continue with a series of workshops from 20 to 22 January 2016. Besides getting insights into the implementation of UK regulations and getting advice on undertaking of effective design for safety from Mr. Hayne, the participants will also obtain an overview of the Workplace Safety and Health (DfS) Regulations, its key features and requirements; valuable lessons from local and international case studies; latest solutions designed for DfS; and practical advice on management of DfS reviews.

The event is organised by The Institution of Engineers, Singapore (IES) and supported by the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) and the Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Council.

More than 160 local engineers and architects from over 50 companies attended the seminar. The seminar is a key event in promoting the WSH (DfS) Regulations, a major initiative supporting the government’s and the industry’s target to reduce the construction sector’s fatality rate to less than 1.8 per 100,000 employed persons by 2018.

“Addressing safety issues at design stage would ensure risks in construction and maintenance are mitigated early. Engineers and architects working with relevant stakeholders could play a significant role in managing risks and bringing value to a project. By organising the DfS Seminar, IES aims to assist engineers in the built environment industry to fully grasp the new regulatory framework and its requirements ahead of its implementation; and equip them with the relevant DfS skillsets and competencies, so that they can help bring about significant progress in workplace safety and health”, said Er. Chong Kee Sen, President of IES.

Mr Ang Chai Soon, Director of the Manufacturing Division at WDA, said: “Design for Safety is a key competency for most industries. Engineers involved in designing buildings and process plants need to keep abreast of the industry’s latest developments and best practices, to help make workplaces safer and thus more conducive for the employees. Enterprises can do their part by ensuring that these practices are encouraged and propagated in their organisations.”

“By implementing DfS, construction and maintenance issues can be addressed from the onset of design. Early assessment will help to reduce the safety and health risks of the industry. To further build the capabilities of the industry, WSH Council will be releasing a set of guidelines on DfS in mid-2016 and will work closely with industry stakeholders on implementing DfS,” said Mr. Jackson Yap, Chairman of WSH Council Construction and Landscape Committee.

The DFS Seminar is being held at the Lifelong Learning Institute at Eunos. Please refer to the IES website for information on the speakers and their presentations.

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About The Institution of Engineers, Singapore (IES)

The Institution of Engineers, Singapore (IES) was formally established in July 1966 as the national society of engineers in Singapore. IES is the premier engineering institution in Singapore and is called upon by the Government to provide feedback on professional engineering matters.

IES is well represented among the faculty members of the major engineering institutions of higher learning in Singapore. Through close collaboration with the local universities and polytechnics, IES organises courses, seminars and talks for engineers and IES members to advance the continuous development of engineers.

The Institution maintains close links with professional organisations of engineers regionally and throughout the world. These include organisations in Australia, China, Japan, United Kingdom and the United States. The Institution also represents Singapore in the ASEAN Federation of Engineering Organizations (AFEO) and the Federation of Engineering Institutions of Asia and the Pacific (FEIAP) in promoting goodwill and fellowship among all engineers in ASEAN and the Asia-Pacific region.

Through its Engineering Accreditation Board (EAB), IES obtained full signatory status in the Washington Accord (WA) in June 2006. The entry grants IES the authority to represent Singapore, the first country within the ASEAN region which has obtained full signatory status in the WA, to vet education systems under the WA mutual recognition framework.

About Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA)

The Singapore Workforce Development Agency enhances the competitiveness of our workforce by encouraging workers to learn for life and advance with skills. In today’s economy, most jobs require not just knowledge, but also skills. WDA collaborates with employers, industry associations, the Union and training organisations, to develop and strengthen the Continuing Education and Training system that is skills-based, open and accessible, as a mainstream pathway for all workers – young and older, from rank and file to professionals and executives – to upgrade and advance in their careers and lives. For more information, please visit http://www.wda.gov.sg

About Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Council

The Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Council was established on 1 April 2008. It comprises 17 leaders from the major industry sectors (including construction, manufacturing, marine industries, petrochemicals and logistics), the government, unions and professionals from the legal, insurance and academic fields. The Council works closely with the Ministry of Manpower and other Government agencies, the industry, unions and professional associations to develop strategies to raise WSH standards in Singapore and to realise the national WSH 2018 strategy. The Council’s main functions are to build industry capabilities to better manage WSH; promote safety and health at work and recognise companies with good WSH records; and set acceptable WSH practices. Visit www.wshc.sg for more information on WSH Council.

 

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