Workers to get help spotting chronic conditions earlier under workplace health and safety campaign [TODAY Online]

A new framework has been launched to encourage firms to adopt services like health screening and health monitoring and evaluation into their workplace.


Medical screening

To boost workplace health and help employees with chronic conditions spot them earlier, the Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Council is teaming up with the Health Promotion Board to co-fund health screenings and programmes to encourage healthy lifestyle habits.

 

The authorities aim to bring these services to 500,000 workers in the next three years.


As part of the National WSH Campaign, a new Total WSH Framework was launched on Sunday (April 22) to encourage firms to adopt services like health screening, exercise programmes, health monitoring and evaluation, into their workplaces.

 

This can be done through in-house providers, outsourced contractors, or sharing services with other companies in their proximity. To get companies started on these initiatives, the WSH Council will offer co-funding for some of the programmes in the initial phase.

 

With close to half of the workplace fatalities due to ill health, Second Manpower Minister Josephine Teo highlighted diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol as the three chronic conditions that the partnership aims to tackle.

 

In particular, the WSH Council wants to identify at-risk workers in five sectors — transport and storage, construction, manufacturing, food and beverage, and cleaning — and help at least a fifth of them “achieve significant health improvements” after a year of intervention, said Mrs Teo at the campaign’s launch at Our Tampines Hub.

 

Latest figures from the Manpower Ministry and WSH Institute earlier this year showed that workplace fatality rate had dropped for the first time in three years, reaching a new low of 1.2 per 100,000 employed persons last year. The number of workplace injuries and dangerous occurrences also fell in 2017, compared to 2016.

 

However, the number of occupational diseases rose 9 per cent in 2017. Increases in each of the top three workplace diseases — musculoskeletal disorders, noise-induced deafness and skin diseases — together made up over 90 per cent of all cases.

 

On Sunday, Mrs Teo also noted the challenge of maintaining low fatality rates 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, highlighting the two sectors which traditionally racks up the most number of deaths and injuries.

 

Source: TODAY Online

 


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