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SG govt: Stop-work order not necessary

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Minister of State for Manpower Amy Khor has reiterated Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s statement that there is no need for all work to come to a stop.

“It really depends on the nature of work, whether it is indoor, outdoor, whether it is strenuous, the duration of exposure as well as the health of the workers, whether they are frail, elderly and so on,” she said.

Ng Eng Hen, chairman of the newly set-up Haze Inter-Ministerial Committee, added stop-work orders were not sensible or sustainable, The Straits Times reported.

Both Khor and Ng were speaking at the first Haze Inter-Ministerial Committee press conference yesterday, where they also urged local employers to be responsible for the well being of their workers during this period.

“We need to emphasise that the safety and health of workers remain paramount,” Khor said, reminding employers the onus is on them to prioritise their workers’ health.

The Workplace Safety and Health Act requires employees to wear masks and take frequent breaks, and employers are required to monitor their staff’s health and allow them to leave work or rest if they are feeling unwell.

The National Environment Agency’s website also carries a health advisory, which said all employers are encouraged to provide outdoor workers with N95 masks, and “deploy susceptible employees to work indoors, preferably doing work which is not physically strenuous”.

The Ministry of Manpower also assured the public they are working with businesses to ensure outdoor employees are provided with the N95 mask.

At 11am this morning, the 3-hour PSI was 322.

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