Skip to main content

WSH Institute Forum: Safety and health at work: Who owns it?


Everyone is aware of the importance of safety and health at work; however, not all are in agreement of “Who owns it?”. On 18 May 2017, this was discussed at the annual WSH Institute Forum.

Attended by close to 330 participants from various industries, they heard speakers from the academia, union and the industry sectors shared their findings and perspectives on WSH Ownership.

 Delivering the opening address, Mr. Heng Chiang Gnee, Chairman of WSH Council, said that better WSH performance can only be achieved when everyone embraces the mindset to move beyond compliance “to prevent all work-related injuries and ill-health”. Having ownership, he believed, is the missing ingredient to succeed.
 Prof Theng Professor Theng Yin Leng from NTU set the stage for the Forum discussion by sharing on the concept of ownership. She then provided a preview of the joint study between NTU and WSH Institute on enhancing WSH ownership.
 Thomas Mr. Thomas Fernandez, CEO of PestBusters Pte Ltd, shared how he took personal ownership of his workers’ safety and health.  The company grew and succeeded because of this.‚Äč
Mr. Melvin Yong, Secretary of NTUC WSH Committee, shared various examples of how workers and union leaders personally took ownership of WSH in the workplace, creating a win-win situation for both the company and their workers.
 Karl Mr. Karl Hamann, CEO of QBE Insurance, presented on the cost of poor WSH performance to companies which do not take up WSH ownership.
 Panel Discussion During the panel discussion moderated by Mr. Patrick Han, Executive Director, WSH Council, the discussion drew active participation from the floor, with issues centering on the challenges of adopting WSH ownership in the workplace.

Finally, the session concluded with a closing speech by Dr. Gan Siok Lin, Executive Director, WSH Institute.  She hoped that the Forum would be a start to the national conversation on WSH ownership.

Programme details of the event can be viewed below:

Click here for speakers' profile


  • Read the full speech by Mr Heng Chiang Gnee here
  • Click here for presentation slides from Prof Theng Yin Leng
  • Click here for presentation slides from Mr Thomas Fernandez
  • Click here for presentation slides from Mr Melvin Yong
  • Click here for presentation slides from Mr Karl Hamann
  • Read the closing speech by Dr Gan Siok Lin here
  • [New] A summary report on the forum is now available. Click here to download.
  • [New] A short video featuring the highlights of the forum can be viewed here