If Switzerland was in Asia, it would be Singapore.
I found that Singapore has the edge of a multicultural Asian society combined with Swiss precision in its public services. This contrast is evident in the clatter of neighborhood street-food vendors and merchants from around the world that co-exist in a completely non-chaotic municipality. Public transportation is reliable, the streets are completely safe and, when the government gets involved, it is an impressive experience.
I discovered the latter point when I arrived at the Visitor Center for the Jurong Island petrochemical complex. Jurong is one of a few islands just southwest of Singapore. Through land reclamation, several islands were combined to form Jurong, which houses dozens of petrochemical facilities. To gain access, I had to submit to an application process in advance and a screening process upon arrival. This was more thorough than any other screening I’ve seen.
As I entered the island, I had the thought that everyone, regardless of company, was in this together because there’s only one way off the island. The challenge of this setting came to light not long ago when a plant on a nearby island caught fire and burned for days.
On Jurong, the plants are well run. I found that the prevailing attitude favored the pragmatic, which is a hallmark of the predominantly Chinese culture. Further indicators were the prominent and clearly stated safety messaging in the public areas as well as within the company gates.
As in KL, building was evident and the housekeeping, a leading indicator of a healthy safety mentality, was very good. I found that the emergency response processes were well conceived which we, as a leading safety technology provider in the industry, love to see. When a trained and motivated staff uses AllClear, the site’s continuous improvement process accelerates and their readiness quickly reaches new heights.
Leaving Singapore behind, I have a great feeling that we will empower these capable emergency responders when we return to install AllClear in 2017.
Next stop: Doha