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Welcome speech by BCA CEO Dr. John Keung at the inaugural International Conference in Workplace Safety & Health for Construction Industry at the BCA Academy

Monday, 4 June 2012

Mr. Hawazi Daipi, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Manpower and Education 

Mr. Subash Ludhra, President, Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, IOSH (UK) 

Mr. Harry Ho, Chairman, IOSH (Singapore)

Distinguished guests

Ladies and gentlemen

Good morning

Let me welcome all of you to the inaugural International Conference on Workplace Safety & Health for the Construction Industry. This conference is jointly organised by BCA Academy and the Singapore Branch of the Institution of Occupational Safety & Health.

The objective of this conference is to provide a platform to exchange ideas and share experiences on key issues relating to Workplace Safety and Health (in short WSH) in the building and construction sector. In addition, we are also here to extend our support to the National Workplace Safety and Health Campaign in raising WSH awareness and improving practices in the construction industry.

Conference

Over the next two days, you will hear from more than 20 renowned international and local expert speakers from various industrial sectors. They will be sharing their knowledge, experience, and WSH best practices with us. To learn from the best practices of the other sectors is one way for the construction industry to improve its safety performance. I believe all participants attending this conference will benefit greatly from the presentations and workshops.

BCA Academy's WSH Training

It is important to cultivate a safety culture in any workplace. Sending employees, at all levels, for regular and proper training will provide them with skills and knowledge to implement safe working protocols and minimise avoidable accidents at the workplace. That is why the BCA Academy's programmes in workplace safety and health are catered to the specific training needs of WSH personnel in the construction industry ranging from workers, supervisors to managers and CEOs, as the safety culture should permeate throughout an organisation from the very top to the frontline personnel. Currently, the Academy conducts over 20 WSH related courses for all levels of working personnel, including bizSafe training programmes which will give small and medium enterprises a framework for building up WSH capabilities at their workplace. 

So far, BCA Academy has attracted about 380 CEOs and top management for the bizSafe Level 1 Workshop, and another 1,100 participants for other bizSafe levels. 

As one of the Continuing Education and Training (CET) Centres accredited by the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA), BCA Academy also conducts WSH professional qualifications for construction personnel at four levels, starting from Certificate, Advanced Certificate, Specialist Diploma and Graduate Certificate. This pathway provides and motivates individuals interested in a career in WSH, to be equipped with the necessary skills and enable them to perform their duties effectively. 

Employers from the building and construction industry would know that BCA Academy collaborates closely with the Ministry of Manpower in conducting mandatory courses for site personnel such as Construction Safety Orientation, Metal Scaffold Erection, Building Construction Supervisors Safety and Formwork Safety. We are also working closely with MOM to review the curriculum of the construction trade courses to ensure that the WSH topics are covered in sufficient detail in the training. This will enhance the workers' knowledge on workplace hazards and risks, and enable them to adopt safe work practices right from the classroom. 

One good example is training for crane operators to enable them to handle cranes in various situations and conditions safely. For this purpose, the Academy has recently set up a Simulator Learning Centre. With the simulator, we are able to teach the trainees to deal with various potential crisis situations (for example, strong wind conditions with heavy rain) which they may encounter in the course of their work. In this way, they would be in a better position to react to actual hazardous situations. Employers who wish to send their operators for the crane simulation training will be able to do so in the later part of this month.

Official Opening of the Workplace Safety & Health Learning Gallery

To augment the WSH training and raise greater awareness on this and to demonstrate clearly BCA's commitment to WSH, BCA has built the Workplace Safety & Health Learning Gallery right within the Academy and we are honoured to have the presence of Senior Parliamentary Secretary Mr. Hawazi Daipi to open the gallery today. I would like to thank MOM, WSH Council and sponsors for their contributions to this gallery. 

We have also put up an exhibition that showcases innovative products and services that could help construction companies enhance their safety performance. Please join us to visit the Gallery and exhibition later. 

Lastly, I would like to thank IOSH (Singapore) and supporting partners MOM, WSH Council, The Institution of Engineers Singapore, Singapore Contractors Association Limited and Singapore Institution of Safety Officers, as well as our sponsor, Lend Lease for making this event possible. 

I wish our participants an enriching and inspiring conference ahead.

Thank you.

Portable document format version of the speech is also available (31KB .pdf).

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