Citicool is an Aircon company with bizsafe level 5 (bizstar)
Before becoming a company with bizsafe level 5 (bizstar)
CitiCool’s Commitment to Workplace Health & Safety Practices
Aircon servicing and installation work involve a certain extent of occupational hazards for our aircon technicians. Since CitiCool started its business, workplace health and safety is one area which receives high priority in CitiCool’s daily operation. This is part of our responsibility in caring for employees’ health and safety. In fact, this commitment is clearly stated in CitiCool’s core values.
As a matter of fact, even before embarking on OHSAS 180001, CitiCool already had its own set of bilingual safe work procedures. In addition, our staff attended formal trainings on safe work procedures, risk assessment and risk management. However, like many local air conditioning companies, CitiCool’s staff comprises of both local and foreign workers. For example, we have workers from Malaysia, China and India. Our aircon technicians from India are mostly diploma holders, so they can understand English. On the other hand, most Chinese aircon technicians whether locally or from our nearby countries are well-versed in Chinese but are poor in English. Therefore, CitiCool sees the need to provide its workplace with safety documents and training contents in both English and Chinese Language. This will help all the staff in the company understand our training better.
Why become a company with bizsafe level 5 (bizstar)?
Why do we go for Bizsafe Level 5 (bizstar) instead of just Bizsafe Level 3?
If you do an online search, most aircon servicing companies in Singapore either have no bizsafe certification or have only achieved a bizsafe level 3 certification. This is quite normal because higher bizsafe rating means a higher cost involved. Given the high operating cost in Singapore, CitiCool has the same concern. However, in CitiCool, we see things differently. Aircon servicing and installation involve a number of occupational risk and hazards. Thus, it is important for us to establish and maintain a high standard workplace health and safety policy and procedure. As the saying goes, ‘total quality management means doing things right at the first time’. We wanted to do this right at the first time. When we got it right, we could then do the proper and right maintenance. Moreover, since CitiCool already had most of the basic documentations and practices in place, we believed that getting a bizstar was just a matter of some touching up on our workplace health and safety documentations and practices.
To be honest, getting a bizsafe level 3 or level 5 certification from WSHC was not our main concern. Our main concern was our workplace health and safety procedures must be right and up to standard. Going for a higher rating helped us to ensure that we had all the right documentation and practices in place. At the end of the day, the most important thing is our effort in maintaining the standard. We should work on the essence instead of just focusing on the certification. Although having a bizsafe level 3 was sufficient to maintain our business operation, we opted for bizsafe level 5 right from the start.
Based on WSHC’s requirement, to obtain a Bizstar certification, you will need at least a SS506 Certification issued by SAC accredited certification bodies or a BS OHSAS 18001 or other equivalent certification. This certification must also be accompanied by a Risk Managment Implementation Audit Report issued by MOM Approved WSH Auditor. CitiCool chose to go for international standard for a start. Our management wanted to follow an internationally recognized certification from the start. This will also help to compliment our company’s effort in maintaining a high standard on workers’ health and safety. That is why we chose to go for BS 18001 instead of SS 506. However, in the future we may choose to maintain our bizstar via SS 506 accreditation if we want to have the best of both accreditation induced in our bizsafe.
Note: SS 506 is a Singapore Standard and SAC stands for Singapore Accredition Council. BS OHSAS is an internationally applied Bristish Standard fo occupational health and safety management systems.
Essence of a company with Bizsafe Level 5 (bizstar) rating
To get an OHSAS or bizsafe level 5 certification is not a difficult task for most companies if the basic requirements are met. However, is this sufficient? In Citicool, we believe in the essence and not just the documentation or certification alone. We are always mindful in giving due emphasis on our workers’ welfare which is well stated in our company’s core values under commitment and open-mindedness, ‘Commitment in caring for employees’ health and safety and commitment in …….shall be duly emphasized ‘ and ‘Open-mindedness …includes embracing people from diverse background and respecting each other regardless of age, language, culture, religion and ethnic background’.
CitiCool’s founder was an aircon technician who fully understands the hazards relating to aircon servicing and installation which involves handling of chemicals and working at height daily. Allowing our workers to have sufficient rest has always been an important element to keep them healthy and safe daily. Some common practices to ensure that CitiCools workers’ welfare are well taken care of include but are not limited to:
- Planning its daily work schedule in such a manner that workers have reasonable and sufficient time to complete their work
- Limiting overtime work as workers need enough rest for their daily work.
- Allowing workers who stay far away from the company to drive the company’s vehicle home if they finish their work late due to unforseen circumstances.
- Dismissing all workers from work early if all of them are very efficient and have completed their work earlier. This is normally the case during the low season for example, immediately after Chinese New Year, during the hungry ghost festival month or sometime rainy season.
- Providing a rest area where our workers can rest and interact with each other after coming back to CitiCool’s office from customers’ site. From time to time, the company also provide different types of delicious snacks such as chocolates, biscuits, potato chips, jelly and drinks for the workers to delight themselves in while relaxing at the rest area after a day’s work.
- Organizing free overseas trip for its workers and their family members (including spouse and children). The company intention is to provide a good environment for all workers to socialize and interact with each other regardless of their diverse background. This is in keeping with CitiCool’s core value on “embracing open-mindedness”. Most workers leave their families in their home country to work in CitiCool and it is important for them to feel that it is worthwhile for them to work in CitiCool and work in Singapore.
Besides the above, CitiCool also welcome the parents, spouse or children of foreign workers who come from far away countries to visit them in Singapore to observe their working environment. Some of our Indian and Chinese workers who have worked in the company for a long time had their family members fly to Singapore for a visit. The company is always glad to offer help or even free tickets to some places of interest to these family members. In fact, CitiCool also encourage its foreign workers to fly home yearly during the Chinese New Year long holiday to spend time with their family members.