Shell today commemorated the safety milestone of its Shell Eastern Petrochemicals Complex (SEPC) project1 by donating $187,000 to the Lighthouse Club Singapore (LHC) and $100,000 to the Humanitarian Organization for Migration Economics (H.O.M.E.). This initiative underscores Shell's belief that improving worker's welfare is important to improving workplace safety and health. The donation is also channelled towards providing special assistance to the larger community of workers as represented by these two organisations.
Marking the SEPC project's recent achievement of 15 million safety man-hours without lost-time incidents, the contribution to LHC will go towards the welfare of construction industry workers – both local and foreign – who are victims of workplace accidents, as well as to their families. Shell's donation to H.O.M.E. will benefit foreign workers who are abused or neglected and often have no one else to turn to.
Shell, together with 24 of its contractors2, pooled the total of $187,000 towards LHC's welfare programmes. Like Shell, these contractor companies have a strong emphasis on worker's safety and health at work, and share Shell's vision of striving for "Goal Zero"3 in workplace safety.
H.O.M.E. received $100,000 from Shell to support its work in foreign workers' welfare in Singapore, including provision of social integration services and humanitarian assistance. The donation is Shell's recognition of the vital role migrant workers play in contributing to our economy and society.
Simon Lam, Venture Director of the SEPC project, said, "We are glad we can contribute towards worker's welfare in Singapore. By working together with these organisations, we can help provide a safety net for these workers, especially during today's economic downturn. We strongly believe that ultimately, by looking after workers' welfare, they stay healthy, happy and motivated to work safely."
He added, "We are heartened that this initiative has been so overwhelmingly supported by our contractor partners and employees, both local and foreign. This is a commendable show of care and concern for their fellow workers in Singapore."
Punitha Govindasamy, president of the Lighthouse Club Singapore, said, "The Lighthouse Club Singapore has come a long way since the beginning. With four families and 14 students in hardship to support on an ongoing-basis, along with several ad hoc cases that the Club provides assistance to, the industry's contribution is more crucial to us than ever. Shell's timely contribution at this juncture will play a vital role in ensuring our beneficiaries are well looked after for some time."
"H.O.M.E. is grateful to Shell for the timely and generous donation to our cause for needy migrant workers. The present economy has seen increasing number of foreign workers out of work and being sent home debt-ridden and penniless. Shell has come to our rescue when our resources are extremely stretched as we respond to the needs of construction and marine workers with shelter housing, food and other expenses in their present predicament," said Bridget Lew, president of H.O.M.E.
Shell's ability to garner the generous support of its contractors and workers for the contribution to LHC and H.O.M.E. stems from the company's HSSE (Health, Security, Safety and Environment) culture, a caring and conscientious way of working that the company promotes among its staff and partners. This focus is based on Shell's General Business Principles, which guide its conduct wherever it operates.
Shell's emphasis on worker's welfare can be seen in every facet of the company's operations, but notably in the dormitories it provides for its employees and contractors on the SEPC project. The company, together with its contractors, employs almost 15,000 workers from more than 14 countries. The accommodation and living conditions that these workers enjoy are a source of pride for Shell and the workers. The company has won the praise of local authorities for providing quality facilities that are well above industry standards and stipulated minimum requirements.
Shell's dormitories are located on Pulau Bukom and Jurong Island, where its world-scale petrochemical complex is being built. A total of 640 units provide up to 4.17 square metres of space for each worker, higher than the three square metres requirement under the National Environment Agency's regulations. Workers pay a small monthly fee of between $100 and $150 to enjoy quality accommodation, including the following amenities and services:
- Basics: Food and board; laundry; security (access card system with CCTV surveillance and full-time security guards on-site)
- Recreational facilities: TV with programmes for various nationalities; courts for basketball, beach volleyball, Thai netball and football; gym; reading room (books, magazines, newspapers); board games; Internet access through 25 computer units
- Sanitation & hygiene: Daily refuse collection; periodic pest control, including bed bug treatment; automatic lethal ovitrap to prevent mosquito breeding
- Amenities: Mini-mart for sundries and supplies; barber shop.