SMRT and NTWU Work Together to Improve and Safeguard Workplace Safety
1. In a move to further enhance safety, SMRT Corporation Ltd (SMRT) and the National Transport Workers Union (NTWU) have set up a Joint Task Force for Safety and Security to support SMRT’s push towards zero safety breaches. SMRT has been working closely with union leaders to improve its safety processes, work practices and staff competencies.
2. The task force will meet monthly to review all matters relating to workplace safety and make recommendations on how workplace safety can continue to be improved and safeguarded.
3. Mr Lee Ling Wee, Chief Executive Officer of SMRT Trains, said: “We will spare no effort to further strengthen safety in SMRT and create a safe work environment for the people who use our transport services or work on our network. To this end, we have worked with industry and subject matter experts whose guidance has been invaluable. We look forward to working with the Union to ensure that that our staff come to work and go home safe every day. We will not compromise on the safety and well-being of our commuters and our staff.”
4. Among the key initiatives introduced by SMRT is the establishment of a Track Access Management system for better access control for personnel needing to work on the tracks and the use of geo-fencing to demarcate parts of the track that people must not enter. Other changes to strengthen workplace health and safety include changing work tools from metal to composite material to reduce the risk of electrocution. SMRT is also proactively promoting a “Safety First” mindset among our staff, all of whom are empowered - regardless of status or seniority – to call a time-out if they feel that safety is compromised.
5. SMRT appointed a Safety Review Committee (SRC) comprising local and international industry experts to advise on safety aspects of SMRT’s network and workplace. The Panel’s recommendations centered on improvements to work instructions, operating procedures and workforce discipline.
6. In addition, SMRT performed its own internal review of current practices, and also benchmarked its practices to international standards. This review led to many action items anchored on six broad categories which cover: a) Review of Track Access Procedures; b) Raising and Sustaining efforts to Educate, Enforce and Ensure tighter workforce discipline and compliance; c) Review of Training Programmes; d) Enhancing Safety Policy and Safety Performance Monitoring; e) Review of the use of Personal Protective Equipment; and f) Ensuring Safety in the implementation of the new Communication-Based Train Control (CBTC) signalling system.
7. SMRT has diligently and proactively been following up on all findings and recommendations from the SRC and SMRT’s internal safety reviews, and working with NTWU to achieve a higher level of safety in our workforce.