Office of Safety, Health & Environment

NUS Safety & Health Awards 2023


The NUS Safety & Health Awards 2023 is a programme to recognise NUS Faculties, Departments, and Research Centres / Research Institutes (henceforth known as departments) that have implemented an effective department safety and health management system (DSHMS).
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.
The department SHMS standard specifies the DSHMS elements that departments are to implement, each element's performance expectations, and how to drive continual S&H improvement. The Standard also defines the 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 (NUSSHA) are evaluated using this Standard.

The DSHMS Standard is available here.

Guidance Notes are developed to guide departments with the implementation of the DSHMS. This guidance note provides generic advice on applying the 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 develop, implement, strengthen and "value add" their DSHMS.

Updates on NUSSHA 2023

There is no change to the assessment and award criteria for NUSSHA Awards 2023.

For more information, please refer to the NUSSHA 2023 briefing slides here.

Judging Criteria

Safety & Health Management, Office of Risk Management and Compliance (SHM, ORMC) appointed assessors will evaluate how each DSHMS element is 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, encouraging departments 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

All laboratory based Principal Investigators (PIs) must participate in the NUS SHMS Certification Scheme for Academic Supervisors. New PIs, who are joining the Department, are given six months to set up the Safety & Health Management System and be audited by SHM, ORMC. The departments must support and ensure that PIs have been developed and implemented in the SHMS for their research activities.

Departments that have attained two consecutive Commendation Awards are eligible for Excellence Award. One of the criteria is for the Department to bring about S&H improvements through innovative projects (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 to submit a project report (summarised in 2-page slides) covering the following elements by 28 February 2023.

1.    Objective
2.    Problem Statement
3.    Causes
4.    Solution
5.    Implementation
6.    Result

Award Criteria

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

1. Department demonstrates its commitment to safety by the limited implementation of the DSHMS elements

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

Department demonstrates its commitment to safety by the essential implementation of the DSHMS elements
  1. < 80% certified at the end of surveillance/ certification audits
  2. New PIs are certified within six months

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

  1. subjected to a Committee of Inquiry (COI)

  2. resulted in punitive measures by the  regulator

  3. resulted in a financial loss of > $500k

Department demonstrates its commitment to safety by the progressive implementation of the DSHMS elements
  1. ≥ 80% certified at the end of surveillance / certification audits
  2. New PIs are certified within six months

Excellence (2 years consecutive award of Commendation)

  1. Two 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 six months

Timeline for Application Submission and Judging

NUS departments that manage (1) Laboratories and Workshops, (2) Facilities Management & Services, and (3) *Administrative Offices (excluding purely office-based departments, e.g., OHR, OFN etc.) are invited to apply. Please refer to NUSSHA 2023 briefing slides for eligible departments.

Departments will be assessed based on their S&H performance over the reviewing period of 1 January 2020 to 28 February 2023.

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 four weeks before the audit.

Important Dates
16 Feb 2022 
Briefing on the NUSSHA 2023
31 Mar 2022 Confirmation of NUSSHA Audit Schedule
May 2022 – Feb 2023    Departmental audits by assessors
Mar 2023   NUSSHA Final judging and confirmation of results
Q3 2023
NUSSHA 2023 Awards Ceremony

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)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

1. Who are the NUSSHA 2023 assessors?

The lead auditor is from the Office of Risk Management & Compliance (ORMC) who may partner with an external consultant to conduct the audit jointly

2. My Department is certified to ISO45001 and required to undergo an annual audit by external assessors. Does the Department need to undergo another round of audits for NUSSHA?

No. Assessors will be present to observe the audit conducted by external auditors. They will process the NUSSHA evaluation based on the observations made during the audit

3. My Department is subjected to mandatory department audits. Is there an additional assessment for NUSSHA?

No. Department subjected to mandatory audit will be evaluated once. The result from the audit will be used for the NUSSHA award.

4. How do I select the date for the audits?

The audit administrator will liaise with the S&H Coordinator to schedule the audit date upon successful receipt of the application form

For general enquiries, please get in touch with the following SHM, ORMC staff:

1. Mr Hairulnizam Ishak at, 6516 7725.
2. Mr Chandra Vendesan at, 6601 2246.
3. Ms Teng Yi Sin at, 6601 8202.