Championing Workplace Safety and Health

ST Engineering’s workplace safety and health practices were lauded yet again at this year’s national awards ceremony. Mohamad Zahid, Vice President for Environmental, Health and Safety, Marine, ST Engineering tells us more.

The Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Award is a national accolade presented to companies and individuals upholding the highest safety and health standards at work. The marine sector has done ST Engineering proud again this year by bagging not one but two national awards – the WSH Innovation Award for a process improvement group project, and the WSH Award for Supervisors for outstanding achievements by senior supervisor Santhanaraj Samikannu. The awards were presented on 31 July 2018 at a gala dinner organised by the Ministry of Manpower and WSH Council and graced by Manpower Minister Josephine Teo.

“The accolades have strengthened our message and conviction that Safety Starts With Me – Work Safe, Home Safe,” said Mohamad Zahid, Vice President for Environmental, Health and Safety, Marine, ST Engineering. “Being in the shipbuilding business, it is imperative for all of us to understand and embrace the Mission Zero objective, which is to create a safe, healthy and pollution-free work environment.

“Staff safety is paramount here at ST Engineering, and we uphold this by complying with all local and international occupational health and safety standards. We’ve also put in place various measures – from manpower and financial resources, to process improvements, risk management practices, as well as knowledge and skills training – to ensure a safe workplace for all employees and subcontractors,” he added.

The Innovation Award recognises commitment and efforts at eliminating or controlling WSH hazards, as well as innovative solutions that improve safety and health outcomes. Teams from 11 companies were singled out for the award this year, including Team Mech Jig from the Mechanical Department (Benoi Yard), who came up with a shaft jig to improve the safety of extracting and reinstalling shaft lines.

“The old method was labour intensive, required work at height and extensive equipment use. It also caused fatigue easily due to the repeated process of using multiple chain hoists. Mech Jig’s winning innovation addressed many of these issues by reducing the number of risk activities, along with manpower, equipment use and time required to perform the process. As a result, safety and productivity were both enhanced, and process cycle time has reduced from 62 hours to 21 hours,” Zahid explained.

Kejenthran Jayakrishnan, Engineer (Team Leader of Team Mech Jig) [R] receiving the trophy on behalf of his team.

The Award for Supervisors exemplifies the demonstration of great care for workers by improving safety and health performance in the workplace. Zahid elaborates, “Santhanaraj is a model supervisor from the Mechanical Department who is both responsible and strict when it comes to safety and health matters. He takes the initiative to share his knowledge and experiences on safety in shipbuilding and other related industries, and is a positive influence on those who work with him.”

Santhanaraj is also a regular face at safety talks and briefings, which he conducts. He was key to the reduction of at-risk behaviours with his knack for observing and correcting irregularities that could lead to workplace incidents. Highly efficient in assessing and mitigating risks and hazards before issuing instructions to his workers, Santhanaraj is a true champion where workplace health and safety is concerned.

Santhanaraj Samikannu [R] receiving his trophy.

“All in all, the two awards are a testament to the thriving WSH culture here at ST Engineering. This has enabled us to maintain a consistently low incident rate over the last 10 years – significantly lower than the industry norm of 1.4 to 1.6 incidents per million man-hour,” Zahid concluded proudly.