Driving Workplace Safety Forward: SBS Transit Unveils New Innovative Technologies at the Rail Safety Symposium

After a day spent working on overhead cables and train doors at the Rolling Stock Workshop, 63-year-old Mr Junaidi Bin Jaafar, a Component Service Centre Senior Technician, used to feel tired, despite being generally fit for his age. However, everything changed when Junaidi started using an exoskeleton — a lightweight wearable designed to provide support for his neck and shoulders — while he works on overhead tasks. This mechanical assistance is especially beneficial for older workers like him, helping to alleviate muscle strain and enabling him to complete tasks efficiently while reducing the risk of injuries. 

At another part of the depot, 50-year-old Mr Mohammed Reza Anuar, is learning the ropes of hazard identification and response on the tracks with the help of a Virtual Reality (VR) Trainer. This immersive experience provides Reza with hands-on practice and exposure to a range of safety scenarios within a controlled yet realistic environment. This helps him to cultivate a safety-conscious mindset and behaviour that can be applied in his day-to-day work. The VR goggles used in this training are equipped with voice-recognition capabilities, enabling Reza to practice the necessary communication protocols for each scenario. Additionally, the goggles incorporate eye-tracking technology, providing targeted feedback and assessment on his environmental scanning habits.

As a leading public transport operator, SBS Transit spearheaded the Rail Safety Symposium which advanced the discourse on industry safety. The symposium showcased various innovative projects, including the exoskeleton and the VR Trainer. Other innovative projects featured included a portable Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered device for track and driver safety, a track intrusion system for our LRT network, an AI-enabled robotic dog for train inspections, and a digitalised track access and management system (please see annex for details).  

The symposium successfully brought together a wide array of stakeholders and experts, both within and beyond the rail industry, and fostered collaborative discussions to elevate the entire sector. Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment & Ministry of Transport, graced the occasion as the Guest-of-Honour and delivered a keynote address emphasising the importance of cultivating an effective safety culture, while international speakers from our esteemed partners in France (RATP) and New Zealand (Auckland One Rail) shared their valuable perspectives on enhancing workplace safety within the rail industry.  

Mr Jeffrey Sim, Group CEO of SBS Transit said: “Workplace safety is not just a matter of compliance for us; it is also a commitment to protecting the lives of our passengers, staff and partners, so that we can all safely go home to our families with peace of mind. Through this symposium, our goal is to unite industry leaders and experts in a collaborative pursuit of knowledge and innovation. We aim to foster a culture where safety is not just a checklist item but an ingrained value, guiding every action we take. By doing so, we aspire to pave the way for a safer tomorrow within the public transport industry.”