HomeNews EventsNewsTotal Workplace Safety and Health: helping employers promote a healthy workplace environment

Total Workplace Safety and Health: helping employers promote a healthy workplace environment

03 Jun 2019

The nature of work is changing due to advancements in technology and the modern world.

As a result of an ageing workforce and increased levels of sedentariness at work, the prevalence of chronic diseases in the workforce is expected to grow.

Ergonomic measures to protect workers both physically (e.g., visual, auditory and musculoskeletal health) and cognitively (e.g., mental workload, impact on sensory processing) must evolve to be relevant to those who engage in these new modes of interacting with the digital world.

Sophisticated communication and mobile technologies have also allowed work to increasingly encroach on times and places that it previously did not. As such, individuals must be educated, equipped and enabled to take care of their health, detect diseases early and manage them properly.

Adjunct Associate Professor Ng Wee Tong, Senior Consultant of Occupational and Aviation Medicine and Medical Director (Integrated Workplace Safety and Health) at ST Healthcare, writes how the Total Workplace Safety and Health (Total WSH) approach can help to holistically address workplace health and safety issues, in partnership with employers and employees.

The Total WSH initiative was introduced by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and Workplace Safety and Health Council in 2014, and its three-fold focus on protection (safety), promotion (health) and productivity (work) makes it an ideal vehicle to prepare individuals and companies for the new face of work.

Total WSH works with employers to optimise employees’ ability for safe, healthy and productive work. This starts with an assessment of the environment, work processes and general health status of employees. It is followed by recommendations on possible interventions, targeting the holistic well-being of the worker.

It then continues to strengthen health promotion at the workplace. For instance, by offering exercise sessions, classes on nutrition and seminars to promote mental well-being, employers can better integrate health promotion into the work environment context.

The changing landscape of work is shifting the effective locus of action closer toward the individual, and greater individual ownership and initiative is necessary for employees to ensure that they thrive in the new normal. By taking a holistic worker-centric perspective, the Total WSH initiative puts us in good stead to move forward.

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Click here for more information about the School's work in Total WSH.

 

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