The General Staff Inspectorate (GSI) was first formed in 1976 to conduct inspections to assess both safety and operational readiness of Army units. Over the years, GSI grew in its responsibilities in managing safety for the Army and in 2012, GSI was enhanced and renamed the Army Safety Inspectorate (ASI) to more accurately reflect its role in the Army.
The mission of ASI is "Keeping our Army Safe through cultivating a strong Safety Culture and strengthening our Army Safety Management System", and this is achieved through (i) cultivating 'safe' attitude and behaviour of our servicemen; and (ii) establishing and enforcing the application of safety management tools.
The five key functions of ASI (see Figure 1) are designed to systematically and methodically manage risk in all operations and training to prevent safety incidents, and enable swift investigation into causal factors should an incident occur. Safety governance involves setting policy and developing the Army Safety framework, which defines the scope for the conduct of safety audit and inspections, investigations and education. In turn, collated findings and feedback from these functions provide sufficient data points for data analysis to be done. This allows ASI to identify areas of improvement for the strengthening of governance policies, safety education and training, and creating a feedback cycle.
Figure 1: Five Key Functions
Army Safety Audit and Training Inspection System
The Army Safety Audit and Inspection System was adapted from the British Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series (OHSAS) 18001. Safety audits and training inspections are enforcement tools used to complement and strengthen our Army Safety System by (i) verifying ground compliance to authorised practices, regulations and instructions; and (ii) identifying areas of improvement to our system.
Levels of Audit and Inspection. In order to ensure a robust system and enforce compliance at every echelon, our Army has three levels of audit and inspection (see Figure 2). The ASI inspection team (Level 3) conducts around 300 safety audit and training inspections per year as an added layer of checks. Since the lifting of the Army Safety Timeout in February 2019, all high-risk and field training in the Army will be inspected.
Figure 2: Three Levels of Army Safety Audit and Training Inspection
Inspector-General Office Strengthens SAF Safety System
From April 2019 onwards, ASI's inspections are augmented by another layer of safety audits and inspections from the Inspector-General Office (IGO). The IGO will conduct independent audits and inspections to ensure that (i) the SAF's safety policy and objectives are being implemented effectively; (ii) there is strong command emphasis on safety across the Service and Formation HQs; (iii) there are sound safety management systems in place at the Service and Formation HQs, which are implemented effectively on the ground; and (iv) commanders have nurtured and are sustaining a strong safety culture on the ground. In addition, IGO will work with ASI and the other Service Inspectorates to cross-share and incorporate safety ideas and best practices from all Services and from outside the SAF.