Customised Workplace Health Programme for Bus Captains

        A pilot workplace health programme for bus captains of SBS Transit and SMRT was announced this afternoon by Senior Minister of State (SMS) for Health and Manpower, Dr Amy Khor, and Senior Minister of State for Finance and Transport, Mrs Josephine Teo.

2.    An initiative of the Ministerial Committee on Ageing and the Tripartite Oversight Committee on Workplace Health, the pilot workplace health programme for bus captains is conducted in close collaboration between Ministry of Health (MOH), the National Transport Workers Union (NTWU), public transport operators SBS Transit and SMRT, Health Promotion Board (HPB), and Tan Tock Seng Hospital’s Institute of Geriatrics and Active Ageing (TTSH IGA). The programme has also received strong support from the Public Transport Tripartite Committee (PTTC) and the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC). Key features of this health programme include working with NTWU canteens to serve healthier meals, teaching our bus captains on driving ergonomics, hydration, vision care, and mental well-being.

3.    Over 400 SBS Transit and SMRT bus captains aged 40 and above, from Ang Mo Kio, Boon Lay, and Choa Chu Kang Bus Interchanges have participated in the pilot programme so far. The programme started in June this year with health screenings for the bus captains at the bus depot at 4am, before they start work. Using the results from the health screening, bus captains have begun receiving group health coaching at the bus interchanges. The health coaching will be conducted monthly over a period of six months where bus captains will build skills on chronic disease management and learn how to manage their health concerns such as back pain due to hours of driving.

4.    “This health programme is almost tailor made for our bus drivers and we are bringing it to the doorstep of our bus captains, at bus depots and interchanges. We want to make it easy for bus drivers to keep healthy, so this programme is worked around their work schedules and is meant to address the most common health challenges that they face such as hydration, vision and ergonomics. We had piloted a customised health programme with the taxi drivers last year and received good feedback. We will also progressively roll out more such workplace health programmes to benefit mature workers in other sectors as well,” said SMS for Health and Manpower, Dr Amy Khor

5.    SMS for Transport and Finance, Mrs Josephine Teo said, “A typical bus captain spends nine to 10 hours at the workplace six days a week. At home, they mostly try to catch up on sleep. At work, they are often busier trying to ensure reliable services and passenger safety than taking care of themselves. So, along with the raising of service levels for bus commuters, it is equally important to give better support and recognition to bus captains. This includes improving terms and conditions of work, and also helping them to take better care of their health.”

6.    NTWU General Secretary, Fang Chin Poh welcomed the move, “With regular health screenings in place, we aim to encourage more bus captains to participate and better manage their health. Coupled with healthier meal options that will be available at the NTWU canteens, we hope that this can provide bus captains with a more holistic support in taking care of their health and wellness.”

 

MINISTRY OF HEALTH

MINISTRY OF TRANSPORT

NATIONAL TRANSPORT WORKERS UNION

31 July 2015

 

 

 

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