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National Workplace Safety and Health Research Agenda (NWRA) for Singapore: 2018 – 2020

We have published the NWRA 2018 – 2020. This is the culmination of input from stakeholders on current and emerging WSH concerns. 

The three focus areas in the NWRA include: (i) injury prevention, (ii) ill-health arising from and impacting work and (iii) studies to address emerging WSH concerns.  Annual reviews will be conducted to ensure that the research agenda remains relevant and addresses new and emerging concerns.

This is the third edition of the NRWA. The first was published in 2011 with the aim to provide greater focus on research work that will drive improvements in Singapore’s WSH performance. 

Click on the button below to find out more on NWRA.

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Spotlight 2
WSH Institute’s Poster Presentation at the Singapore WSH Conference 2018

Our team took part in the poster presentation at the recent Singapore WSH Conference 2018 from 29 August to 30 August.

Both our staff and partners from institutes of higher learning such as NUS and NTU presented our research studies to the delegates. This was generally well- received and there were active discussions between the researchers and the delegates. 

Click on the button to find out more on the research posters presented at the Conference.

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What's Trending
Trending 1
(Source: Center for Construction Research and Training, Jul 2018)
Improving work zone safety utilizing a new mobile proximity sensing technology

Researchers have designed and tested a proximity sensing and alert system using Bluetooth Low Energy technology, which monitors the location and direction of moving equipment and alerts both equipment operators and workers on the ground to collision hazards. The system could reliably alert operators and workers when the equipment approached the worker at relatively high speeds (10 mph).

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Trending 1_QR
Relevance: Leveraging on sensors and analytics in ‘smart’ worksites could potentially allow construction sites to make the leap in achieving better WSH standards.

Trending 2 (Source: South China Morning Post, Apr 2018)
‘Forget the Facebook Leak’: China is mining data from workers’ brains on an industrial scale

Workplaces in China have started implementing lightweight, wireless sensors which monitor workers’ brainwaves to detect emotional spikes such as depression, anxiety or rage. Some could even detect fatigue and attention loss and would trigger an alarm to wake the user up if he dozed off.

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Whats Trending 2QR
Relevance: This technology would be useful for workers operating dangerous equipment or machinery as well as drivers, alerting them of potential ‘disturbances’ in their mental states which could impact their safety negatively.
Books from the WSH Institute Collection*
Rec Reading 1_Hazard analysis
Hazard analysis techniques for system safety

Clifton A. Ericson II

System safety

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Rec reading 2_OSH for TEM
Occupational safety and health: for technologists, engineers and managers

David L. Goetsch

Industrial safety

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Click here to access WSH Institute's e-books collection.

* The WSH Institute Collection is a compilation of WSH-related resources accessible to the public through our collaboration with the National Library
Board (NLB).

OWL Highlights
Main Article 1
Supervisors who react with support can help injured workers return to the job

The likelihood of a worker returning to work after an injury depends on many factors. Based on a survey of 869 workers’ compensation claimants in Australia, this study seeks to understand the impact that a supervisor’s reaction to the injury can have on the injured worker returning to work.

Results showed that respondents who had reported a positive supervisor reaction were 2.3 times more likely to return to work after injury than those who received a negative supervisor reaction. Even for cases where the injuries were severe and resulted in prolonged work disability, respondents who had a supportive supervisor reaction were 1.6 times more likely to return to work. The authors conclude that supervisors are often the first to learn of a worker’s injury. Showing sympathy and providing a listening ear can create a positive foundation that could impact subsequent phases of returning to work.

Main Article 2_QR
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Theme: Return to Work
Date of Publication: August 2018
Source: Institute for Work & Health

Main Article 3
Virtual reality shakes up safety training

Using sight, sound and sometimes motion, virtual reality provides a virtual environment and a realistic and immersive experience to users. It is an increasingly popular tool used for training in occupational health and safety (OHS), providing a method of training workers on their actual job tasks in a safe environment. Another tool that is gaining traction in OHS is augmented reality, where “digital images are superimposed into a user’s view of the real world”.

One of the benefits of adopting virtual reality in safety training is its ability to expose workers to high-risk situations in a safe environment. This allows for workers to be trained for incidents that could never be accomplished in a classroom setting or even a mock training facility. Additionally, knowledge retention is very high in virtual reality programmes as it provides a vivid, real and immersive experience. Virtual reality also allows for the assessment of workers’ skills and abilities before they are at the job site.

Main Article 3_QR
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Theme: WSH Training
Date of Publication: June 2018
Source: Occupational Safety

Main Article 4
Lower limb blood flow and mean arterial pressure during standing and seated work: Implications for workplace posture recommendations

Sit-stand workstation is a workplace intervention that is becoming increasingly popular in reducing sedentary seated work. However, it is important to understand the potential negative outcomes associated with standing work.

Results showed that vascular pooling (collection of blood in the veins) was greater in the stationary standing condition and discomfort was also higher. Stationary standing condition also led to higher mean arterial blood pressure (MAP) in the lower limb, and greater increases in MAP over time, which may be a consequence of increased vascular pooling and sustained muscular pressure.

These results suggested that recommendations for using static standing work postures should be tempered, and physicians' guidance on workstation changes should consider the impacts on the lower limb.

The study further suggests the implementation of active workstations, such as treadmill or pedal desks, which promotes movement throughout the day without decreasing the amount of time spent at a desk to combat sedentary workplace behaviour.

Main Article 3_QR
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Theme: Technology and the Changing World of Work
Date of Publication: May 2018
Source: Preventive Medicine Reports

Main Article 4
Take matters into your own hands: Understanding hand injuries in the workplace

Hand safety and injury prevention are often overlooked by both employers and employees. The most common types of hand injuries are lacerations, crushes, avulsions or detachments, punctures and fractures and workers in the construction and manufacturing industries are at greater risk.

This article discusses how employers can protect their employees from such injuries and reduce workers’ compensation costs by understanding the who, what, where, and why of hand injuries. Some of the preventative measures for these injuries include providing the appropriate personal protective equipment; encouraging education and setting expectations; and having an open door policy for workers to feel comfortable reporting safety issues. Attention should also be given to less-experienced workers who are at higher risk for injuries. Safety training is important to get them be familiar with the common, and potentially hazardous, machinery and tools. Meanwhile, older workers beyond the age of 55 should be protected as they often require a longer recovery time and may sustain more serious injuries. Workplace wellness programme can help this group of workers by focusing on ergonomics, stretching, and healthy lifestyles.

Main Article 1_new QR
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Theme: Hand safety
Date of Publication: August 2018
Source: Occupational Health & Safety

Useful Resources
OWLinks is brought to you by Workplace Safety and Health Institute, Singapore. OWLinks enables leaders and professionals to keep abreast of the latest WSH development and trends from around the world.

For enquiries or feedback, please email us at contact@wshi.gov.sg
Visit the WSH Institute website for updates on WSH-related matters, information and events.

Vision: A Healthy Workforce in a Safe Workplace.
Mission: Provide evidence-based, insightful and practical solutions.
The information provided here is based on information available at the time when this issue of OWLinks was compiled. The information provided here is not to be construed as implying any liability to any party nor should it be taken to encapsulate all the responsibilities and obligations of the reader of OWLinks under the law. Please note that Workplace Safety and Health Institute will be unable to provide full-text of articles listed in this OWLinks if it contravenes the copyright regulation.

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An Initiative of
The Observatory for WSH Landscape (OWL) is a function of the WSH Institute. OWL serves to observe, analyse and communicate developments affecting WSH, and promote collaboration among researchers, policy makers and industries to advance WSH policies and practices.