Office of Safety, Health & Environment

NUS Safety & Health Awards 2020


The NUS Safety & Health Awards 2020 is a programme to give recognition to NUS Faculties, Departments, and Research Centres / Research Institutes (henceforth known as department) which have implemented an effective department safety and health management system (DSHMS) that would help reduce accidents and incidents in workplaces.

It also encourages and rewards departments which have implemented or maintained sound DSHMS to:

  • self-regulate safety & health (S&H)
  • build positive safety & health (S&H) culture
  • promote sharing of knowledge, experience and best practices

Standard & Guidelines

Departments are expected to establish, implement and maintain a DSHMS to manage S&H risks arising from activities and workspaces managed by the departments.

The department SHMS standard (henceforth known as Standard) specifies the DSHMS elements that departments are to implement, the performance expectations of each element and how they should be holistically managed to drive continual S&H improvement. The Standard also specifies roles and responsibilities of the Head of Department & Director, Departmental Safety & Health Committee and Safety & Health Coordinators to champion & lead safety in the department. All departments participating in NUS Safety & Health Awards 2020 will be evaluated using this Standard.

The DSHMS Standard is available here.

Guidance Notes have been developed to guide departments with the implementation of the DSHMS.

This guidance note provides generic advice on the application of NUS Safety & Health (S&H) Management System Standard for Departments - Part A: Requirements. It explains the underlying intent of the S&H management system elements at the departmental level to address the S&H risks faced by the department.

The Guidance Notes are available here.

We would like to encourage departments to refer to both the Standard & the Guidance Notes to strengthen and "value add" their DSHMS.

Key changes

The key changes to the NUS Safety & Health Awards 2020 include:

  1 Enhancements made to the Part B: Guidance Notes to assist departments with the implementation and improvements of their DSHMS. The main objective of the enhancements is to promote:
a. Greater integration with existing OSHE programmes & tools. Examples, Safety & Health (S&H) Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for Deans/Directors/HoDs, S&H Coordinator (SHC) Framework, S&H Culture Survey, DSHMS and SHMS Certification Scheme for Academic Supervisors, Unannounced Inspection, EHS360 IT System etc.
b. Greater ownership of S&H by the departments. Examples, its oversight of common facilities and PIs’ S&H performance; and
c. More effective continual improvement and collaboration efforts between departments
  2 Frequency for NUS SHA assessments has been changed from once every two years to once every 3 years from 2017 onwards.
  3 The Safety Perception Survey, which serves as a mean to review the safety climate amongst the staff & students in the department, will be excluded from NUS SHA 2020.

Please refer here for more information on key changes.

Judging Criteria

OSHE appointed assessors will evaluate the extent to which each DSHMS element is effectively implemented in the department. Departments are encouraged to use the Standard & Guidance Notes to help them to identify how to improve and enhance their SHMS.

The evaluation is qualitative where departments are encouraged to explore innovative ways to implement the SHMS elements. Assessors would provide a category that represents the maturity of DSHMS elements.

The categorisation of findings are as follows:

Implementation of essential SHMS elements
Progressive implementation of SHMS elements
Complete implementation of SHMS elements

For laboratory based departments, all laboratory based Principal Investigators (PIs) must participate in the NUS SHMS Certification Scheme for Academic Supervisors. New PIs who are joining the department will be given 6 month to setup the Safety & Health Management System and be audited by OSHE. It is therefore important that the departments support and ensure that PIs developed and implemented the SHMS for their research activities.

Departments who have attained 2 consecutive years of Commendation Award are eligible for Excellence Award. One of the criteria is for department to bring about S&H improvements through innovative project (at least one) based on the following theme(s):

  1. Building Workplace S&H (WSH) capabilities
  2. Instilling greater safety ownership
  3. Leveraging new technologies to improve safety
  4. Fostering partnership & collaboration between departments
  5. Integrating health in work and safety
  6. Mainstreaming safety into education

Department is expected to submit a project report which covers the following elements latest by 30 Dec 2019:

  1. Objective
  2. Safety & Health Concern
  3. Causes
  4. Solution
  5. Implementation
  6. Result

Award Criteria

Award Category
DSHMS Audit Performance
SHMS Certification for Academic Supervisors
Accident & Incident

1. Department's commitment to safety is demonstrated by the limited implementation of the DSHMS elements

2. Departments which do not qualify for Commitment, Commendation and Excellence Awards

Department's commitment to safety is demonstrated by the essential implementation of the DSHMS elements
  1. < 80% certified at the end of surveillance/ certification audits
  2. New PIs are certified within 6 months

Accidents / Incidents which did not result in high impact incidents such as those:

  1. subjected to Committee of Inquiry (COI)
  2. resulted in punitive measures by regulator
  3. resulted in financial loss of > $500k

Department's commitment to safety is demonstrated by the progressive implementation of the DSHMS elements
  1. ≥ 80% certified at the end of surveillance / certification audits
  2. New PIs are certified within 6 months

Excellence (2 years consecutive award of Commendation)

  1. 2 consecutive awards of Commendation
  2. At least one safety & health improvement project
Department's commitment to safety is demonstrated by the sustained and comprehensive implementation of the DSHMS elements
  1. All PIs certified
  2. New PIs are certified within 6 months

Timeline for Application Submission and Judging

NUS departments that manage (1) Laboratories and/or Workshops, (2) Facilities Management & Services, (3) Halls of Residences,
(4) Residential Colleges, and (5) *Administrative Offices (excluding purely office-based departments eg. OHR, OFN etc.) are invited to apply. Please see below for the list of eligible non-laboratory based / office-based departments.

* Please refer to the table below for the list of eligible non-laboratory based / office-based departments.

Departments will be assessed based on their S&H performance over the reviewing period of 1 Jan 2017 to 31 Dec 2019.

For departments that have to undergo mandatory DSHMS audits, NUS SHA assessments will be conducted in parallel with these audits.

Departments are to document and maintain the SHMS documents using Workspace S&H Information Registry (WSHIR) Module in EHS360. SHMS documents must be ready for review by assessor at least 4 weeks before the audit.

List of Eligible Non Lab-based Departments

S/N Name of Department
1 Office of Campus Security
2 Office of Housing Services
3 Office of Estate & Development
4 Office of Facilities Management
5 Office of Campus Amenities
6 Office of Student Affairs
7 NUS Libraries
8 Halls of Residences
9 Residential Colleges
10 University Health Center
11 Centre for the Arts
12 Computer Centre

Important Dates
5 Nov 2018 Release of NUS SHA Application Form to Departments

26 Nov 2018

Deadline for submission of Application Form to OSHE
3 - 28 Dec 2018 Confirmation of NUS SHA assessment dates
Feb - Dec 2019 Departmental audits by assessors
Mar 2020 Final judging and notification of award winners
Aug 2020 Award Presentation by NUS Senior Management

NUSSHA 2020 Award Results
Excellence Award Commendation Award Commitment Award
Biochemistry Anaesthesia Mechanobiology Institute Anatomy Duke-NUS Medical School Office of Campus Security
Pharmacology Cancer Science Institute of Singapore Medicine Biological Sciences Electrical and Computer Engineering
Office of Estate Development
Pharmacy Centre for 2D Advanced Materials Microbiology Biomedical Engineering
Office of Facilities Management

Civil and Environmental Engineering Orthopaedic Surgery Building
Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum
Office of Housing Services

Comparative Medicine Paediatrics Centre for Quantum Technologies
Materials Science and Engineering

Life Sciences Institute Physiology Centre for Remote Imaging, Sensing and Processing
Mechanical Engineering

Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health Centre for The Arts
The N.1 Institute for Health
Singapore Nuclear Research & Safety Initiative

Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
NUS Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Initiative
Singapore Synchrotron Light Source

NUS (Suzhou) Research Institute
Solar Energy Research Institute of Singapore

Clinical Imaging Research Centre
Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Office of Campus Amenities
Temasek Lab

Tropical Marine Science Institute

(In No Particular Order of Rank)

For general enquiries, please contact the following OSHE staff:

1. Mr Hairulnizam Ishak at, 6516 7725.
2. Mr Danny Toh at, 6516 4131.