Office of Safety, Health & Environment

Creating a Sustainable Safety Culture on Campus

NUS Senior Management is seeking your support to make the campus a safer place to study, work and live. To create a sustainable safety culture on campus, new measures & enhancements will be progressively introduced as outlined below.

A. Safety Inspections by Office of Safety, Health & Environment (OSHE)

OSHE will be conducting safety inspections of departments, research institutes and centres (RICs) and their workspaces commencing August 2014. Advance notice will not be provided to the departments/RICs, but respective deanery, department, RIC Director and office will be informed on the day of the inspection. This is to promote a culture of practising safety daily and not only before an inspection.

The inspections will cover laboratory and office spaces. High risk areas will be subjected to a greater frequency of inspection. OSHE will be required to report the outcome of their inspections to NUS Senior Management, who may impose sanctions.

OSHE inspection checklist can be found here.

B. Safety KPIs for Deans, Directors and HoDs

Safety KPIs will now be introduced for Deans, Directors and Heads of Department. Deans, Directors and HoDs must demonstrate and will be accountable for ensuring safety in their departments/RICs. They should ensure that sufficient resources are allocated to safety, and proactively monitor the safety performance of their departments/RICs.

Please refer to the requirements for periodic reporting of Safety & Health KPIs for Deans, Directors and HODs to Provost and Deputy President (Research & Technology) here.

Samples of KRAs & KPIs are available below for consideration.

Key Results Area (suggested)


1. Compliance to applicable regulations and NUS safety requirements


Establish a system to ensure compliance

2. Safety & Health Management System


  • Ensure that RICs / departments in the faculty/school have an effective Safety & Health Management System (SHMS)


A Safety & Health Management System to be established in the departments and audited once every two years.

  • Deans/Directors to establish a safety and health committee, chaired by a senior academic staff for lab based faculties or senior administrator for non-lab based. The staff shall have a seniority of a Vice Dean/Deputy Director and participate in the faculty’s/research centre’s management meeting.

  • Deans/Directors to provide sufficient resources for the safety & health committee and the faculty to achieve its safety objectives and execution of its safety programmes.

  • Deans/Directors to demonstrate visible safety leadership by:
    • Encouraging safety education and safety promotion in the departments
    • Participating in safety inspections and other safety-related programmes

  • Deans/Directors shall review the faculty’s safety performance on a regular basis and taking action to address gaps in the safety management system.
3. Promotion of safety culture


Programmes implemented to promote greater safety ownership.

For more information on safety ownership and safety culture, please refer to the following articles/documents:

  1. ACS Committee on Chemical Safety. (2012). Creating Safety Cultures in Academic Institutions: A Report of the Safety Culture Task Force of the ACS Committee on Chemical Safety. American Chemical Society.
  2. Committee on Establishing and Promoting a Culture of Safety in Academic Laboratory Research; Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology; Division of Earth and Life Sciences; Board on Human-Systems Integration; Division of Behaviorial and Social Sciences and Education; National Research Council. (2014). Safe Science: Promoting a Culture of Safety in Academic Chemical Research. The National Academic Press.
  3. H. Holden Thorp. (2014). From the provost: Lab safety - going beyond compliance to a positive culture. Washington University in St. Louise.
  4. Task Force for Advancing the Culture of Laboratory Safety at Stanford University. (2014). Advancing Safety Culture in the University Laboratory. Stanford University.

C. Audit of Departmental Safety Management System (SMS)

Departments/RICs that are managing high hazard equipment, materials and/or activities or noted to have a higher frequency of incidents shall be subjected to departmental safety & health management system audit once every three years. The hazard profile table for equipment, materials and activities can be found here.

The requirements of the departmental/RIC SMS can be found on the following website here.

NUS has a scheme that rewards and recognizes departments/RICs for their good safety performance, named the NUS Safety & Health Awards (NUSSHA). More information is available here.

Circulars on Creating a Sustainable Safety Culture on Campus – Enhancements to Existing Measures can be downloaded for the following:

  • Deans of Faculties & Schools
  • Heads of Administrative Departments
  • Directors of Research Centres & Institutes
  • Director, NUS Enterprise

For general enquiries, please contact Mr Hairulnizam Ishak at, extension 67725.