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Public Consultation on proposed WSH (Design for Safety) Regulations


Ministry of Manpower - Occupational Safety and Health Division

Consultation Period: 10 Nov 2014 - 30 Nov 2014
Status: Closed

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is inviting members of the public to give feedback on the proposed Workplace Safety and Health (Design for Safety) Regulations.

Detailed Description


Public consultation on Proposed WSH (Design for Safety) Regulations
Consultation Period: 10th November to 30th November 2014

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is inviting members of the public to give feedback on the proposed Workplace Safety and Health (Design for Safety) Regulations.


2.                  In May 2014, DPM Tharman Shanmugaratnam announced the Government's decision to mandate Design for Safety (DfS) to foster greater industry ownership amongst developers and designers.  A Taskforce on Mandating DfS (TDfS) comprising relevant government agencies and key industry stakeholders was formed to oversee and drive the development of the DfS Regulations and its other supporting initiatives for the industry. The Taskforce is jointly chaired by MOM and BCA. Members of the Taskforce comprise of senior staff from government ministries, statutory boards and leaders of industry associations including the Association of Consulting Engineers Singapore (ACES), Singapore Institute of Architect (SIA), Institute of Engineers Singapore (IES), Specialist Trade Alliance of Singapore (STAS), Singapore Contractors Association Ltd (SCAL), Real Estate Developers' Association of Singapore (REDAS) and WSH Council (Construction and Landscape Committee).


3.                  Developers, as owners and financiers of the project, have a large influence over the design of the building, the safe planning and constructability, as well as overall project management including contract duration and key specifications. Designers also play a critical role as they could create downstream risks to those constructing and maintaining the building if they produce designs without due consideration of safety and health issues. However, our current WSH legislation does not place adequate responsibilities on those who procure and design construction projects to ensure that they are safe to build and maintain. 

4.                  The proposed WSH (DfS) Regulations thus aims to:

a)   Place responsibility for the safety and health of workers in the construction industry on those who create the risks;

b)   Achieve sustained WSH improvements through better coordination amongst all stakeholders to manage the WSH risks upstream at the design and planning phase; and

c)   Improve the planning and effective management of safety and health risks throughout the entire lifecycle of a construction project i.e. the design, construction, and maintenance stages of the completed building.

5.                  The key provisions of the proposed WSH (Design for Safety) Regulations are as follow:

a)    To place duties on developers and designers

The proposed Regulations will place duties on developers and designers to identify and address foreseeable risks throughout the lifecycle of a construction project. Where risks cannot be mitigated by design interventions, it will have to be communicated to those involved in the construction project. 

b)    To require implementation of a DfS review process throughout every phase of the construction project

The implementation of a DfS review process throughout every phase of the construction project (or whenever design changes are made) would ensure that risks in the design are highlighted and managed in a systematic and coordinated way. By making it a mandatory requirement, we can ensure that time and resources are set aside to address the WSH risks at the design and planning stage.

c)    To require a DfS register for all construction projects 
To ensure vital information is communicated downstream, the Regulations will require proper record keeping of WSH risk for future reference via a DfS register. The DfS register will record (i) safety and health issues identified during the design reviews and actions taken; and (ii) risks that cannot be removed through design changes. The DfS register should be a live document which will be updated as and when new WSH risks are identified.

d)    To allow developers to appoint a competent person 
Developers have the option to discharge their duties, such as the facilitation of the DfS review process and the preparation of a DfS register, to a competent person. Nonetheless, to ensure that developers take responsibility for the risks they create, they would have to make arrangements to ensure that the competent person carries out his assigned duties with due diligence. 

e)    To mandate it for projects with contract value of $10 million and above  

For a start, we propose for the Regulations to apply only to projects with contract value of $10 million and above. Over the last two years, about 80% of fatal accidents and dangerous occurrences in the construction industry were contributed by projects with contract value of $10 million and above.

6.                  The draft Regulations are attached in Annex A.


7.                  The industry consultation exercise will last for three weeks, from 10th November to 30th November 2014.


8.                  We seek your support to ensure that the consultation exercise is productive and focused. We would like to request that respondents follow these guidelines:

a)      Identify yourself and the organisation you represent (if any) – This will help us understand the impact of the proposed changes on different stakeholder groups.
b)      Make your comments clear and concise.
c)      Focus your comments on how the provisions and features can be improved or made clearer.
d)     As far as possible, explain your points with illustrations and examples.

9.                  Your feedback is important to us. To enable your feedback to reach us more quickly, we strongly encourage you to submit your feedback through this email address:, with the subject heading "Consultation on Proposed WSH (Design for Safety) Regulations", using the template for submission of feedback at Annex B.

10.              Alternatively, you can also send your comments to us via:
(a)             Fax      :     6535 6726; or
(b)             Post     :     Ministry of Manpower
Occupational Safety and Health Division
1500 Bendemeer Road #03-02                                               
Singapore 339946.
Attn: Ms Charlene Liew


11.              We regret that we will not be able to individually acknowledge or address every comment we receive.  However, we will consolidate and publish a summary of the key comments received, together with our responses, on the REACH website following the close of the consultation exercise.  The summary will not disclose the identity of person(s) providing the feedback, to maintain confidentiality of the feedback received.


12.              For your convenience, the relevant documents relating to this public consultation exercise can be downloaded for further reference.

Related Documents:
Annex A – Draft WSH (Design for Safety) Regulations
Annex B – Template for feedback