Labour movement collaborates with industry partners to uplift competency levels of safety professionals

Workplace safety standards should continuously be raised and improved. In view of advancements in technology, coupled with industry or sector specific changes, there is a need to continuously review or refine existing processes to ensure that safety of working people is not compromised.

In a bid to ensure a safer workplace for working people who work in high risk environments, the Labour Movement has organised its first Major Hazards Installation (MHI) and Safety Seminar which took place today at the Devan Nair Institute for Employment and Employability. The seminar aims to raise awareness of recently announced requirements for safety of Major Hazards Installations (MHIs) regulations, which fall under the Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Act .

Organised by NTUC’s e2i (Employment and Employability Institute) and the Labour Movement (LM) Oil, Petrochemical, Energy and Chemicals (OPEC) Cluster, and supported by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) and Singapore Institute of Safety Officers (SISO), the seminar was held in conjunction with a training and career fair to prepare safety professionals with the required skills and expertise to adapt to the changing industry landscape. Mr Chan Chun Sing, Secretary-General of NTUC, was the Guest of Honour.

Mr Gilbert Tan, Chief Executive Officer of e2i said, “e2i has been working closely with OPEC partners and training providers to identify industry’s skills and manpower needs. As an enabler, we aim to equip practitioners with competencies and continual skills upgrading to address the fast-changing needs of sectors for companies’ growth and working people’s career progression. With the MHI safety guidelines and months of collaborations, it is timely to bring practitioners together to share on expertise, and provide a training and job matching platform.”

Major Hazards Installations (MHIs) and Safety Seminar

With a year for regulators and companies to prepare for the MHI requirement, this seminar promotes knowledge sharing among relevant industry professionals to build capabilities and be adequately prepared. More than 230 Management Partners and Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) practitioners exchanged perspectives and learnt from best practices by experts within the industry as well as regulators. The seminar also hopes to identify core competencies and continual skills training required to address the needs of the changing workplace.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed amongst e2i, SIT and LM OPEC cluster. Together with biomedical companies Pfizer and MSD, e2i and NTUC worked with SIT to develop a competency certificate programme “Specialist Certificate in Process Safety”, which comprises a series of eight workshops to meet new Safety Case regime requirements for the MHI industry. The programme aims to equip professionals with the know-how to develop a safety case, as well as build capabilities to meet current and emerging skills required for all WSH professionals. These will be rolled out first to the biomedical sector, and subsequently introduced to MHIs in other sectors.

The MOU cements the partners’ collective commitment to deepen skills and build a core pool of skilled professionals through development of training programmes and masterclasses for all OPEC cluster of industries and others too.

Mr K. Karthikeyan, Chairman of LM OPEC Cluster, said: “Workers who operate in facilities where large quantities of toxic and flammable substances are used, stored or transported, are truly the backbone of the OPEC industry – we value their contributions and want to ensure that they continue to work with complete peace of mind. To this end, we look forward to collaborating with e2i and our industry partners to ensure that the unique process safety needs within each sector will be addressed, and management and safety professionals alike are adequately apprised and trained.”

“Pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies already have robust safety management programmes in place, but like all industries, best practices must evolve with the changing industry landscape. As Singapore’s university of Applied Learning, SIT sees the need to keep up with industry needs and we are delighted to collaborate with NTUC, e2i, Pfizer, and MSD to develop and promote these series of programmes aimed at building a core pool of skilled professionals with the knowledge, skills and capabilities in Process Safety,” said Professor Tan Thiam Soon, President of SIT.

Enhancing employment and employability of workers in OPEC industry

In conjunction with the seminar, e2i and LM OPEC Cluster organised a “Training and Career Fair for OPEC & Biomedical Sciences” companies. Seven training providers and nine employers provided more than 260 job vacancies and training opportunities to uplift competency levels of workers to stay relevant in the OPEC industry.

The new requirements will take effect in September 2017. For more info, do refer to this MOM microsite: