WSH Bulletin, 19 August 2020: The WSH Council calls upon companies to restart their operations with caution // Former WSH Council member Mr Mohamed Abdul Akbar conferred the prestigious Public Service Medal Award

WSH Bulletin, 19 August 2020: The WSH Council calls upon companies to restart their operations with caution // Former WSH Council member Mr Mohamed Abdul Akbar conferred the prestigious Public Service Medal Award

Aug 19, 2020

19 August 2020, Ref: 2021040

The WSH Council calls upon companies to restart their operations with caution 


Companies, especially those handling construction projects, are reminded to remain vigilant as they restore their operations, and to give their workers time to adjust after a period of inactivity. The WSH Council also calls upon companies not to rush into making up for lost time while grappling with manpower issues amidst these challenging times, and to take time to do a thorough inspection of worksites to correct any potential unsafe conditions arising from the temporary closure.

Start safe in worksites

All employers and principals must ensure the following:

• Deploy only workers who are feeling well, fit for work and competent for
   the task;
• Check that all vehicles, machinery, equipment and tools have undergone
   routine maintenance and thorough inspection, if they have been left idle since
   the Circuit Breaker shutdown, to ensure they are in good working condition
   and safe to operate; 
• Review the risk assessment for each work activity/process and account for the
   impact of reduced manpower, if any;
• Confirm that risk controls are in place and conduct toolbox briefings to ensure
   that workers are aware of the Safe Work Procedures (SWPs) and on-site risk
   controls prior to starting work;
• Ensure SWPs for any reduced manpower scenario have been established;
• Remind workers of work hazards and provide the necessary on-site supervision
   to ensure SWPs are strictly adhered to; 
• Check site conditions to ascertain that they are safe for work resumption; and
• Adhere to Safe Management Measures such as wearing a mask, observing
   safe distancing and remaining within split teams.

Take care of workers‘ health as they resume work

All employers and principals must take all necessary measures to ensure a safe reopening of the facilities and to protect the health and safety of the workers. Some of the health-related guidelines which they can adopt are as follows:

Start slow and build up workers’ stamina progressively over a few days.

Heat stress at work
• Ensure workers are aware of the early symptoms of heat disorders. Examples
   are muscle cramp in the legs, sensation of “feeling weak”, dizziness or fainting
   spells, headaches, blurring of vision and abdominal pain.
• Workers who experience such symptoms should inform their supervisors immediately.
• Ensure workers have easy access to water and are adequately hydrated.
• Ensure workers have adequate rest from the heat.

Ergonomic factors
• Include some stretching exercise for the workers during the morning toolbox meeting.
• Remind workers of proper lifting techniques and to get help when lifting heavy objects.

Medical conditions
• Ensure workers take their medicine regularly and their medical condition is
   well controlled.
• Workers who are not feeling well should inform their supervisor immediately.

The Total Workplace Safety and Health (Total WSH) of our workforce remains the top priority of all companies. Companies must do all they can to protect workers from injuries, accidents and illnesses in ensuring that they are both COVID-safe and WSH-ready.


Download the WSH Council’s series of pictorial WSH training materials on common hazards and how to reduce workplace risks here.

Download the pictogram posters here.

To learn more about managing and improving employees’ health at the workplace, visit the National WSH Campaign 2020 microsite here.


Former WSH Council member Mr Mohamed Abdul Akbar conferred the prestigious Public Service Medal Award 


We congratulate Mr Mohamed Abdul Akbar Bin Mohamed Abdul Kader, Managing Director of Nan Guan Construction Pte Ltd, for being conferred the Public Service Medal – Pingat Bakti Masyarakat (PBM) at this year’s National Day Awards.


Mr Akbar was appointed as a Member of the Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Council in 2010. He subsequently assumed the role of Chairman of the WSH Council (National Crane Safety) Taskforce in 2012. Under Mr Akbar’s leadership, the Taskforce contributed significantly towards the reduction of crane-related Dangerous Occurrences (DO) in Singapore, from a high of 26 DOs in 2010 to eight in 2019. He was instrumental in galvanising the industry to adopt the implementation of Data Logger for all mobile cranes in 2015. 


Passionate about safety within the industry, Mr Akbar voluntarily led the formation of the Lorry Crane Working Group (LCWG) in September 2016 to address the rise in lorry crane toppling incidents. Through a multi-pronged industry-led approach, the LCWG successfully raised awareness of the lorry crane DOs, and the number of such cases saw a marked reduction of 75%, from eight in 2017 to two in 2019.


The entrepreneur constantly ensures the safety and health of his colleagues and staff, even in his quest to increase productivity and social responsibility. While Mr Akbar had stepped down from the WSH Council in March 2020, he continues to rally the support of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises to embrace safety at its highest level and as a
top priority.  


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