More help for workers with chronic conditions under new workplace safety and health move

SINGAPORE – Workers with diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol will be able to get screened and manage these chronic conditions early, under an initiative to promote safety and health at workplaces.

It will identify at-risk workers – those whose health markers are a cause for concern – and help at least a fifth of them achieve significant health improvements after one year of intervention, said Second Minister for Manpower Josephine Teo on Sunday (April 22).

“Hopefully, this will also help reduce the safety lapses related to poor health,” she said.

The Total Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Framework is introduced under a collaboration between the WSH Council and the Health Promotion Board.

About 500,000 workers are expected to benefit from these services over the next three years.

This will be done through more Total WSH services centres, the training of professionals from designated workplace doctors to occupational health nurses, and customised services to address health issues.

This comes as half of the workplace fatalities in recent years were due to ill health, said Mrs Teo at this year’s national WSH campaign at Our Tampines Hub.

While there was a historically low fatality rate of 1.2 per 100,000 workers last year, she added that there is a challenge of sustaining the momentum for reducing deaths at the workplace.

“It will not be easy, particularly when the construction and marine sectors recover and the activity levels go up,” said Mrs Teo.

At Sunday’s event, which includes a carnival, the public got to spend time with their families and co-workers while learning about health and safety. The carnival included a 30m obstacle course, as well as ergonomic solutions and healthy lifestyle exhibits.

Mr John Ng, chairman of the WSH Council, said more has to be done to promote good work practices, such as involving everyone to reduce risks at workplaces.

“Every workplace injury and ill health is preventable, and we can take a little time to take care of ourselves and others in the midst of our work,” he said.

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