Risky Business: Death & Injury on Singapore's Construction Sites

Construction sites are the deadliest workplaces in Singapore, with a fatality rate three times higher than the national average. Yet policy debates about worksite safety have largely been lacking a critical voice: that of construction workers. Alarmed by the growing death toll of construction workers, HealthServe decided to explore the issue of what makes construction sites unsafe, with an emphasis on workers' perspectives. In our interviews, migrant construction workers from China frequently complained about excessive workloads and unreasonable productivity targets, as well as cost-cutting measures that result in severe time pressures and the reduction of materials and resources. Fatigue from long hours of work and a lack of rest days greatly increased the risk of accidents happening. These factors were enabled, as well as exacerbated, by their bosses' and supervisors' general disregard for workers' safety and wellbeing, and zero tolerance for dissent. While deliberating solutions will require the input of multiple stakeholders, our preliminary findings indicate that a greater emphasis needs to be placed on workers' wellbeing and participation in formulating workplace safety policies and strategies.

See full report here: Worksite (Un)Safety


JAHOC: How did it all begin?

What would a celebratory fundraising event that embodies the spirit of HealthServe look like? Just A Handful Of Coins (JAHOC) was conceived to celebrate kindness, people and a community of equals; that in so doing, the members of this community will give, out of what they have.

The modus operandi of JAHOC was to get people to set aside their loose change daily, however much or little, come together at a carnival and meet with others in this community. This, we achieved by making everything at the carnival free; instead, the only currency was life stories. We saw Singaporeans, PRCs, Bangladeshis, Indians, Myanmese, Chinese, Malays, and Indians; doctors, homemakers, students, labourers, pastors, lawyers, and sex workers; the young and the old. It was truly a celebration of diverse equals and an intersection of lives.

JAHOC was also a leap of faith. We had no idea whether we could raise enough money to more than cover the costs but at least meet the statutory requirement of 70 per cent of monies raised for the charitable cause. We are glad that we have raised more than what was required. Through the process, many new volunteers and people have come to know and experience the spirit of HealthServe, the spirit of JAHOC; that truly, small change can build deep community. 

~ Ronald Wong

Ronald was one of the initiators of JAHOC. A litigation lawyer, he also co-initiated Micah 6:8 Intersections (www.facebook.com/groups/micahsingapore) and dabbles in theatre (The Parables Company).

Concert - Voices from the Heart

The Voices from the Heart concert showcases music from the diverse cultural background of migrant workers and photographs of their lives here. Performers include migrant workers, doctors, and volunteers from the extended HealthServe community. Join us for a fun and enlightening evening of great music, photos, refreshments, and good company.

Visit our Voices from the Heart Facebook page to learn more or get your tickets here!

Just A Handful of Coins

What Is This?

It is a celebration of people of various nationalities, races, ages, languages and occupations coming together to feast around the same table.

Imagine every individual bringing their coin banks, pouring out all that they have saved for months, that others may be blessed, that they too be blessed.

This movement encourages everyone to bring change and celebrate community with 'Just A Handful Of Coins'. 

Every person who commits to this movement would daily set aside their loose change. The culmination of this commitment would be a celebration festival in August 2013.

Migrants and locals.
Male and female.
Young and old.
Construction worker and lawyer.
Market place worker and housemaker.

There will be sharing of food and stories, photos and lives.

The monetary collection will be a display of how our small contributions can be multiplied to much more.

Funds raised will go towards covering HealthServe's operational costs which amount to about half of $1 million every year.

Sign up here! http://alturl.com/hjcrv

Find out more: http://www.facebook.com/jahoc