How can Singapore firms remain vigilant against workplace attacks?

Minister provides three “key” approaches

How can Singapore firms remain vigilant against workplace attacks?
A simulated terror attack organised by the Bedok Safety Group (BSG) played out on Tuesday at the Panasonic Appliances Refrigeration Devices Singapore, as part of efforts to stem complacency against attacks in the workplace. 

The simulated attack involved an intruder who rode past the factory entrance and threw a Molotov cocktail into its Liquid Petroleum gas (LPG) storage area. This caused an explosion that led to a fire. The exercise tested the response capabilities of Panasonic’s Company Emergency Response Team (CERT), according to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).

The CERT demonstrated ability to render first aid to the injured and mitigated the fire before the arrival of the Singapore Police Force (SPF) and the Singapore Civil Defence Force who secured and managed the scene, said the ministry.

“The threat of terrorism is very real. Workplaces and their employees need to be prepared to handle such crises and recover quickly from it. During peacetime, we should take the opportunity to enhance our response plans, address all possible gaps and share best practices among the community of like-minded organisations,” said Steven Tan, BSG chairman Steven Tan. The BSG is a voluntary workgroup made up of 14 member companies with interest in safety.

During a speech at the event, Minister of State for Manpower Sam Tan said there are three “key things” employers can do to keep their workplace secure.

Tan said firms can prepare their workforce for a crisis. Selected personnel can be trained in first aid, CPR, and in the use of an automated external defibrillator. “Such skills are critical to ensure ready assistance are available to affected employees until the authorities arrive in a critical situation.”
Employees should also familiarise themselves with their surroundings, such as the location of the escape routes, suitable hiding places and locations of first aid provisions.

Tan also urged firms to have robust business continuity plans in place to mitigate disruptions and help them recover more quickly when an incident strikes. “Building owners can take steps to protect their premises by installing CCTVs, having adequate perimeter fencing and proper access controls,” he added.

Lastly, the minister emphasized how “community networks” can boost vigilance and enhance firms’ abilities to deal with threats and crises together with neighbouring businesses and residents.

“Given the grave consequences of any terror attacks, we must not be complacent and depend only on security agencies to prepare and respond against terror attacks,” said Tan.

Related stories:
ILO calls for vastly improved national occupational safety and health data
MOM identifies 3 workplace safety and health priorities for 2017

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