Jeslyn Lee
Ministry of Manpower

The Problem

The role of the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is to build a globally competitive workforce and great workplace, for a cohesive society and a secure economic future for all Singaporeans. Aligned to the strategic outcome of building a globally competitive workforce, a safe and healthy workplace is a key towards developing quality workplaces that engenders productivity and efficiency. The Occupational Safety and Health Division (OSHD) in MOM, promotes Occupational Safety and Health at the national level.
OSHD works with employers, employees and all other stakeholders to identify, assess, and manage workplace safety and health risks so as to eliminate death, injury and ill-health.

OSHD is working towards attaining a new target of bringing the workplace fatality rate to less than 1.8 fatalities per 100,000 workers by 2018, as part of the new Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) 2018 strategy. Central in this strategy, the new WSH 2018 framework builds upon a progressive and pervasive safety and health culture where all individuals accept that they are responsible for the safety and health of the workplace. These individuals have a role to play in protecting not only their own health and safety, but that of others.

In alignment with the strategy, OSHD has undergone restructuring and streamline key processes in bid to operate in a seamless and integrated manner towards managing workplace safety and health. Along with process streamlining, 5 disparate legacy IT systems need to be re-developed. These systems were designed to meet the aim of the former framework, which is to monitor and ensure compliance to the laws that the departments administered. Furthermore, there is no one holistic view of the OSH profiles of workplaces and their workforce. The lack of synergy between the systems collectively means that they did not meet the needs of the new operating environment. The development of an Integrated Occupational Safety and Health System (iOSH) which unified the core processing functionalities of the 5 legacy systems allows higher flexibility and capability to respond to both internal and external stakeholders’ needs.
OSHD is also strengthening enforcement and surveillance programmes based on a comprehensive analysis of industry trends, and hotspots with higher fatality and injury rates. We are reviewing the existing WSH legislation to ensure that they remain relevant to industry trends while creating a self-regulatory framework in order to promote greater industry ownership. This includes reviewing and raising the industry’s implementation of Risk Management to the next level and the promulgation of national scale engagement such as the formation of Risk Assessment and Working at Height task forces.

Even as MOM continue to improve our management of workplace safety, it is important that our management of workplace health (WH) issues keeps apace. In line with the growth of new sectors, new approaches and strategies has been implemented to improve WH management that balances employees' safety and health with business needs. Also, the regulatory framework established under the Work Injury Compensation Act has been built upon to ensure the expeditious and effective resolution of work injury claims.

Solution and Key Benefits

 What is the initiative about? (the solution)
With the implementation of iOSH System, the MOM Occupational Safety and Health Division (OSHD) has become more responsive and better equipped to implement and manage the new Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) framework. The system has greatly improved work productivity and enabled MOM to engage its stakeholders effectively on OSH matters. This will directly contribute to achieving the division's vision of reducing the workplace fatality rate to below 1.8 per 100,000 workers by the year of 2018.

iOSH streamlines various processes and enables the users to accomplish end-to-end business flow within a common system. By leveraging on IT to optimize our efforts in engaging stakeholders and building up their capabilities, it is also fundamental to instill greater ownership for safety outcomes amongst the industry.

Some of the key features of iOSH are briefly described below.
i. Purchase of Incident Notification within 1 day: Stakeholders of Workmen Injury Compensation (WIC) such as legal representatives and insurers can now log on to the online eservice portal to purchase an electronic copy of incident notification. A copy of the notification will be auto sent by the system once the purchaser has completed the online payment transaction. With this in place, the turnaround time to obtain the incident notification can be done within 1 day instead of the usual 7 days required for processing a purchase manually.

ii. Enquiry on WIC claim within 3 seconds: Customers used to wait 1 day to get an update on WIC injury claim. With iOSH, they are able to self-help online to check status of WIC claim and obtain the information within 3 seconds. Previously, customers had to log a call and wait for the call agent to process before receiving the update. This manual process typically takes 1 day. This improvement also translates into time-saving for MOM officers and relieves MOM resources to focus on core business functions.

iii. Termination of Competent Person (CP)/Competent Organisation(CO) license within 3 minutes: With iOSH, the CP and CO can complete the termination of licenses online within 3 minutes. Prior to iOSH, they need to submit a request for termination manually and will only obtain the confirmation of termination from MOM after a lapse of 1 day from submission.

iv. Processing of Medical and Hygiene monitoring files within 1 day: MOM officers used to take 3 days administratively to track and process files for Medical and Hygiene Monitoring. iOSH has incorporated upload electronic documents and workflow capabilities which cut down time spent on tracking, routing and duplicated data entry effort by the officers and enables the process to be completed within 1 day.

v. Self help retrieval of information within 3 seconds: It used to take 7 days to obtain a holistic WSH profile of a company or workplace. With iOSH, it takes 3 seconds through a self-help search online to obtain the same information. This enables the MOM key decision makers and regulatory officers to make timely decisions for enforcement actions.

Actors and Stakeholders

 Who proposed the solution, who implemented it and who were the stakeholders?
Before embarking on the specification of the iOSH System, OSHD engaged a consultant to conduct a detailed organisational assessment of the OSHD existing operational systems and processes needed to support its core business, with the aim to redesign, or improve the core business processes for greater efficiency and effectiveness. The information gathered together with the IT Planning report done by MOM was used to produce a comprehensive and coherent information architecture centered around the redesigned processes which is then translated to a set of high level functional requirements for the development of iOSH System. The review study also includes the feasibility of obtaining the required processing information through the existing data which is residing in the various operational databases within the division as well as outside of the Ministry of Manpower databases. The study looks into database synergy with the various modules in the new single unified application system, as well as the data residing in the systems of external parties such as other ministries, statutory boards, economic agencies, and private bodies. The Business Process Redesign Study was concluded by KPMG in 2006 and the tender for the development of iOSH System was awarded to NCS Pte Ltd in Sep 2007. The System was successfully launched in Feb 2010. The project involves more than 300 MOM staff from OSHD and MOM IT department and at peak, more than 100 NCS developers were involved.

To enhance and integrate the then disparate systems, iOSH was initiated to realize strategic outcomes of the new Workplace Safety and Health Framework by collaborating across departments through a common platform. It eliminates boundaries through end-to-end integration to both intra and inter-agency. It enables effective processing, research and analysis by providing a holistic view of OSH profiles of workplaces. It has also enabled better outreach to public via improved e-Services.

For the implementation, 9 stakeholder categories and 77 impacted stakeholder groups were identified and prioritised based on critical stakeholder communication need dimensions. External stakeholder groups include informants, doctors, competent personnel (CPs), designated factory doctors (DFDs), audiometrician, management representatives and the general public. Internal stakeholder groups identified include case managers, processing officers, inspectors and specialists.

Other than the identified stakeholders groups, the development of iOSH involves the participation from various government agencies and bodies such as Ministry of Finance (MOF), Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) and Singapore Medical Council (SMC) as there is integration from iOSH to various external systems.

(a) Strategies

 Describe how and when the initiative was implemented by answering these questions
 a.      What were the strategies used to implement the initiative? In no more than 500 words, provide a summary of the main objectives and strategies of the initiative, how they were established and by whom.
iOSH System was developed to enable OSHD to be more responsive and better equipped to implement and manage the new OSH framework. iOSH project is aligned to the following key thrusts identified in iGov2010 :

• Strategic thrust 1.2 – Deliver proactive user-friendly, responsive and integrated services
• Strategic thrust 1.3 – Extend the reach of eServices
• Strategic thrust 3.1 – Create synergy through shared data, processes and systems

The main objectives are:
a) Effective enforcement and surveillance actions led by intelligence

iOSH provides useful intelligence for the division to profile company and workplaces for targeted enforcement and surveillance actions. This helps when resources needs to be deployed strategically on OSH areas where it matters. iOSH is also equipped with early problem detection capabilities such as triggering alerts and reminders for pre-emptive actions to be taken.

b) Exceeding customer satisfaction with improved and new e-services

iOSH has taken a revolutionary shift by transforming our e-service delivery approach from department-centric to customer-centric. Today, our customers can enjoy the increased convenience of performing OSH transactions using our improved internet e-services. For the add-ons to the current incident reporting platform, public users can now make online amendments on their filed notifications. Whistle blowers can also provide useful information when they witness any unsafe acts and practices on worksites. Other improved e-services for licensing matters includes online submission of supporting documents, online printing of certificates of registration and SMS notification of licensing application status for competent organisation. In addition to the improved current e-services, iOSH has also launched 21 new and enhanced e-services in Sep 2011. Some of these are interactive and self-help enquiry tools that allow our customers to have easy access to useful OSH information. This, in turn, will not only automate our internal process but also enhance the experience of our customers when they transact with us.

c) Delivering timely outcomes and meeting KPI with the help of a task and workflow engine

iOSH is built on a workflow engine where officers can retrieve and perform tasks assigned to them based on user-defined business rules. This expedites the approval process from the different management levels and also ensures that the transaction is well completed within the defined KPI. Reminders and alerts will also trigger off for outstanding tasks eliminating the need for manual tracking.

d) Effective handling of case using a case management tool

iOSH adopts a case management approach and supports the case manager to oversee and manage the case’s life cycle. The case management investigation module is an effective case management tool that enables the case manager to manage a consolidated panel of related case content presented in an integrated and holistic manner.

e) Empowered with information beyond boundaries

iOSH has established linkages with internal operational systems (eRegistry system, Work Pass systems), WOG initiatives (UEN Hub, Singpass), other government agencies(ACRA) and partners (Hospitals) with the aim to have an integrated approach to customer relationship management and to enable more timely and informed decision making.

(b) Implementation

 b.      What were the key development and implementation steps and the chronology? No more than 500 words
Before embarking on the specification of the iOSH System, OSHD engaged a consultant in 2006 to conduct a detailed organisational assessment of the OSHD existing operational systems and processes needed to support its core business, with the aim to redesign, or improve the core business processes for greater efficiency and effectiveness. The information gathered from the Business Process Redesign Study together with the IT Planning report done by MOM was used to produce a comprehensive and coherent information architecture centered around the redesigned processes which is then translated to a set of high level functional requirements for the development of iOSH System.

An open tender for the development of iOSH System was awarded to NCS Pte Ltd in Sep 2007.

iOSH System was implemented in two phases. Phase 1 encompassed providing the core system to replace the existing 5 IT systems and existing e-Services was commissioned in Feb 2010. Phase 2 focused on enhanced capabilities of the new system to provide new e-Services was launched in Sep 2011.

The NCS Application Development Methodology has been adopted during the course of the project development that is organized into 7 activity groups:

(i) Requirement Analysis and Design
(ii) Technical Analysis and Design
(iii) Technical Construction
(iv) System Integration Testing
(v) Acceptance Testing
(vi) Implementation
(vii) Implementation Support

A total of 5 rounds of User Acceptance Testing were conducted and 2 rounds of pre-live mock run were conducted to ensure business and technical operations readiness prior to iOSH commissioning. In addition, a change management programme was put in place right from the start of the project initiation to manage the stakeholder communication and transition to obtain “buy-in from the various stakeholder groups, both internal and external.

(c) Overcoming Obstacles

 c.      What were the main obstacles encountered? How were they overcome? No more than 500 words
As with all major IT projects, a challenging schedule for a complex system called for an extension of 9 months from its original schedule for iOSH system. The underestimation of the system complexity, development and testing duration had added to the time constraint. The study and analysis of data during conversion took longer than expected due to the existence of several legacy systems and their huge historical data. In addition, various changes were made to the user requirements due to new policy changes as the project progressed.

For iOSH project, two management project committees were established. A Project Steering Committee (PSC), chaired by Divisional Director, OSHD and co-chaired by Director, Information System & Technology Department (ISTD), met monthly to drive the implementation of the project and address key issues. The other is the monthly Project Management Committee (PMC), chaired by Deputy Director, OSHD and co-chaired by Deputy Director, ISTD. The fortnightly PMC helped to drive the project and lead the progress of work to ensure that the Project Working Committee (PWC) stay focused and progressed in line with overall project objectives. The PWC oversees the day-to-day development of their respective modules and coordinate with the immediate users to ensure that the requirements were properly captured and their timelines was on schedule. The PWC also flagged out critical issues for the PMC’s and PSC’s timely attention.

The close oversight maintained by the PWC, PMC and PSC over the progress of the project helped to ensure that it was delivered on schedule. For example, nearing the commissioning of the project, there were weekly runs of the PSC and PMC to address issues raised by PWC. Through these meetings, mitigation measures were activated such making request for more resources from the vendor and MOM resources were freed up from their daily operational work to close outstanding issues. The PSC was effective to resolve issues and narrowing down the gaps to accelerate the progress of the project. The high commitment and support from the Top Management, especially from the PSC Chairman was a great booster to the project team and a critical success factor for this project.

(d) Use of Resources

 d.      What resources were used for the initiative and what were its key benefits? In no more than 500 words, specify what were the financial, technical and human resources’ costs associated with this initiative. Describe how resources were mobilized
Project Governance

The MOM IT Steering Committee is the highest technology forum in MOM on all matters involving IT. This committee, chaired by Deputy Secretary (Manpower), sets IT policy guidelines, determines IT priorities, and oversees the progress of the MOM IT projects including iOSH. The overall project progress and key challenges in iOSH are reported and discussed at this forum.

As a result of the iOSH project, two management project committees were established – a Project Steering Committee (PSC) to drive the implementation of the project, and a Project Management Committee (PMC) to provide day-to-day guidance to our project team and IT partner.

Project Champions and Leadership

iOSH Project Steering Committee is headed by Mr Ho Siong Hin, Divisional Director OSHD (Chairperson) and Ms Ang Mui Kim, Director ISTD & Chief Information Officer (Co-chair). The project progress and status are closely monitored on a fortnightly basis by PMC, and reviewed at the PSC meeting held monthly. Apart from project monitoring and review, the Project Steering Committee is responsible for the review of project risks, decides on the risk mitigation actions, and priority of risks to be treated.

Our partner NCS has been very committed to this project since the time of tender award - the General Manager and other members of their senior management team (including NCS Chief Executive Officer) attend the Project Steering Committee and weekly progress meetings to help steer the project teams towards achieving the project objectives and marshal resources to meet contingencies, whenever required.

The project was developed at a cost of $13M.

Sustainability and Transferability

  Is the initiative sustainable and transferable?
Since the launch of the iOSH System, MOM has conducted several feedback sessions with the industries on a regular basis, for the purpose of better understanding the industry business requirements and to collate feedback on how the system can be further improved and enhanced to constantly meet the needs of the industry. Through the public consultations and briefings held with the experts in the various domain knowledge areas, we were able to gather valuable feedbacks on the ground, and at the same time, reached out more to the general public, for them to embrace workplace safety and health culture during their daily course of work, and gaining ownership from there.

Being one of the first few countries in the ASEAN region to develop a system that encompasses functionalities supporting enforcement, risk prevention, incident reporting and work injury compensation in a single integrated system, iOSH has attracted interest and queries from other delegates in the region, who came from places like Indonesia, to study and learn in greater depth, the development process of iOSH and the specifics on how the system integrates and works in a seamless manner. iOSH was seen as a system benchmark for these Indonesian delegates to upgrade and enhance their current IT systems, and how they could address the limitations from the learning points shared during the session.

Lessons Learned

 What are the impact of your initiative and the lessons learned?
Key Deliverables

Integrated functionalities: OSHD officers are able to access new information with data presented in a holistic manner. The system supports officers in performing their strategic functions with new levels of convenience, interactivity and efficiency. Some of these functions include comprehensive overview of all workplaces in Singapore, all inspection and investigation reports, prosecution details or even related information on work injury compensation. The various interfaces implemented with external agencies have also improved data accuracy and eliminated redundancy.

Enhanced and New e-Services: The iOSH e-Services with enhanced usability interface and better information presentation is able to reach out to more stakeholders from industry which is in line with the new Workplace Safety and Health framework to support all workplaces in Singapore. The various self help tools have also made it easy for our external stakeholders to access information. There were several hands-on clinics conducted for Competent Organisations, Competent Persons and Designated Factory Doctors and Public users prior to the commissioning of iOSH. The feedback from the clinics was very positive and they commended on the ease of access and use of the new iOSH system.

Enhanced Notification Capability: The system is enabled with notification capabilities like email and SMS alerts to keep concerned parties informed.

Empowered Information Beyond Boundaries: The system has established linkages with internal operational systems (eRegistry System,Work Pass System), WOG initiatives (UEN hub,SingPass), other government agencies ( ACRA) and partners ( hospitals).

Enhanced Key Performance Indicators (KPI) Capability: The system is built on a workflow engine where officers can retrieve and perform tasks assigned based on user-defined business rules. This expedites the approval process from the different management levels and ensures that the transaction is completed within the defined KPI. Reminders and alerts were also trigger off for outstanding tasks eliminating the need for manual tracking.

The Critical Sccess Factors for this project are:

• Strong Stakeholder Engagement
o Gartner strong support and buy-in from senior management and stakeholders (including resource commitment)
o Engage and communicate extensively to ensure co-ordination among various stakeholders
• Good Project Governance
o For such a complex project, good project governance with proper change control board in place to monitor project progress, key milestones and critical path for project completion are crucial to ensure project success.
• Close Team Dynamic
o Fostering a cooperative and collaborative environment and relationship among team members are necessary for the project to succeed. Communication and teamwork amongst all parties are important.
o Getting the right experts and skill set for the project is vital.

Compliments received

ePoll Comment relating to Incident Reporting Module

May 2010 - “Realised that this format has been improvised. Now, it is so much simple and easy to provide info.”

April 2010 - “easy to use and report an accident.”

April 2010 - “Friendly user, - Very much easy to key in address”.

Mar 2010 - “Thank you for making it so easy for us to do the report.”

ePoll Comment relating to Licensing Module
Mar 2010 - “Excellent Service”

Contact Information

Institution Name:   Ministry of Manpower
Institution Type:   Government Agency  
Contact Person:   Jeslyn Lee
Title:   Head ( Business Process Management)  
Telephone/ Fax:   63171703
Institution's / Project's Website:
Address:   18 Havelock Road
Postal Code:   059764
Country:   Singapore

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