Total Rewards Asia Summit 2024 Singapore
MOM shares an update on the effectiveness of enhanced heat stress measures in Singapore

MOM shares an update on the effectiveness of enhanced heat stress measures in Singapore

Of the 70 workplaces inspected to ensure compliance with the enhanced heat stress measures, the Ministry has taken enforcement actions against 23 companies for breaches.

Singapore's Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has only received two reports of heat-related incidents since the implementation of its enhanced heat stress measures in October 2023.

The Ministry said this in a recent Parliamentary response to a query on the effectiveness of the measures and how the ministry is working with employers to ensure these measures are sustainable.

"The number of reported heat-related incidents has remained low in the past five years, with no more than five incidents annually", it added. 

When asked about the number of employers who have been issued fines for non-compliance, MOM shared that of the 70 workplaces inspected to ensure compliance with the enhanced heat stress measures, the Ministry has taken enforcement actions against 23 companies for breaches, and has worked with employers to rectify the situation and put in place measures which will protect their workers from risk of heat injury.

"MOM will also continue to consult the industry when there are new developments, and update the heat stress measures accordingly if the temperature gets warmer.

"Together, we can build heat resilience in workplaces", the Ministry commented.

The enhanced measures to reduce heat stress for outdoor workers were developed in consultation with the Ministry of Health’s Heat Stress Expert Panel, government agencies, and employer associations such as the Singapore Contractors Association.

Further, MOM and the Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Council have released guidelines including the Heat Stress Management Compliance Checklist and Specifications for Wet Bulb Globe Temperature Meters (WBGT) for Workplace Measurements, as well as conducted several industry-specific forums. 

Moreover, MOM and the WSH Council regularly disseminate information on heat stress through platforms such as the WSH Council's Bulletin and Facebook Page, and MOM's FWMOMCare App, where information is shared and translated to the native languages of migrant workers. 

In a similar update, MOM shared in response to a separate Parliamentary query that it three of the 70 workplaces inspected had breached a mandatory 10-minute rest break measure. 

"These three companies were issued composition fines or notices of non-compliance, and have since put in place the required measures", MOM shared. 

In that vein, the Ministry also reiterated the following onsite measures that employers should implement to reduce heat stress for outdoor workers, including: 

  1. rescheduling outdoor physical work to cooler parts of the day where feasible,
  2. identifying and redeploying workers vulnerable to heat stress when the weather is hot,
  3. providing shade at work areas where feasible,
  4. acclimatising newly assigned workers, and
  5. ensuring adequate water intake by workers through scheduled hydration sessions, as well as training workers to recognise symptoms of heat injury and report to supervisors early if they are feeling unwell.

Employers are encouraged to monitor the WBGT using the WBGT meters or the National Environment Agency's myENV app. 

MOM and the WSH have also provided recommendations on how heat stress management can further be enhanced with technologies, such as real-time on-set WBGT monitors or wearables that provide alert triggers which will enable timely interventions for at-risk workers.

"Employers are also encouraged to provide ice slurries, rest areas with water mist sprays, as well as cooling vests to remove heat from workers’ bodies.


READ MORE: What employers can do in the workplace to combat the effect of rising temperatures

Lead image / 123RF

Follow us on Telegram and on Instagram @humanresourcesonline for all the latest HR and manpower news from around the region!

Free newsletter

Get the daily lowdown on Asia's top Human Resources stories.

We break down the big and messy topics of the day so you're updated on the most important developments in Asia's Human Resources development – for free.

subscribe now open in new window