By Sunny Tan, Head of HSSE & Quality in C&W Services Singapore
The theme for 2018’s National Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) campaign in Singapore is “Prevent all injuries. Go home safe and healthy”. Running from April to July 2018, this year’s campaign aims to drive home the importance of taking preventive action to bolster the safety of workplaces, as injuries at work affect everyone in that work environment.
At Cushman & Wakefield and C&W Services, workplace safety is our number one priority and we have pledged to support the annual national WSH campaign by taking proactive actions to help prevent falls and vehicular accidents at work.
One of the key initiatives under our WSH commitment is to continue with our annual commemoration of Safety Hour in May. The purpose of Safety Hour is tied to our goal of building a positive WSH culture by driving knowledge, ownership and accountability for safety, health and well-being with our employees and suppliers. To encourage more robust employee participation and build greater awareness for our Safety Hour event in May, a safety video competition was held where all employees can produce their safety videos with content that is aligned with the “Prevent all injuries. Go home safe and healthy” theme. Also, to complement the roll out of Safety Hour at all our sites this year, the regular monthly CWalk exercise in May will focus on ways to prevent falls. This exercise includes a check on safety performance in the workplace and robust engagement between the leadership and our teams on site through open and direct conversations.
The continued focus on ensuring an injury-free work environment at all our offices, work sites and operating environments is reflected in a series of activities that we have been running over the years. Since November 2014, we been emphasizing the importance of traffic safety amongst our employees by ensuring all our motorcycle riders attend a Defensive Riding Training course to better equip themselves with the right riding skills. At C&W Services, we have close to 200 technicians who need to use a motorcycle to move between various work sites. Singapore’s Traffic Police Department has also been invited to conduct sharing sessions with our riders over the last 3 years. These courses are popular with our employees, judging from the overwhelming attendance every year. In 2016, we also provided riders with body worn cameras to further encourage positive driving behaviour on the roads and selectively choosing recorded video segments for use in sharing sessions. The program has seen significant improvement in rider behaviours on the road over the years, with zero accidents recorded during working hours in 2017.
From 2016 onwards, we have mandated that all sites operated by C&W Services must have at least one senior Work at Height (WAH) supervisor assigned on the ground, so he or she understands the hazards faced by the site teams. The WAH supervisor also ensures all team members, including technicians who are on site, are trained in WAH procedures. In October 2017, we reinforced the portable ladder procedures to ensure employees are trained on the proper usage of ladders and checking their serviceability levels. As a form of best practice, all top three rungs of an A-Frame ladder must be covered up to prevent employees from over-reaching while working on a ladder.
WSH is a critical part of any operation and staying committed to WSH has to be at the heart of the business. A positive WSH culture supports productivity and efficiency in the workplace, resulting in higher employee satisfaction and retention and better connectivity and engagement with customers. It all makes good business sense!
Sunny Tan is the Head of HSSE & Quality in C&W Services Singapore.