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MOM Says Outdoor Workers Must Take Hourly 10-Minute Breaks Once Heat Stress Risk Is High

MOM Introduces Mandatory Hourly 10-Minute Break For Outdoor Workers When Heat Stress Risk Is High

In light of rising temperatures, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has issued measures to help reduce the risk of heat stress for outdoor workers.

Once the risk of heat stress is high, they should take a 10-minute break on an hourly basis in the shade.

MOM has also encouraged workplaces to implement a buddy system to recognise heat injury symptoms in workers.

MOM introduces measures to reduce heat stress risk

In a press release on 24 Oct, MOM announced that they would be introducing measures to help outdoor workers who face an increased risk of heat stress.

workers heat stressworkers heat stress

This group, MOM stated, has less discretion over their work activities and may have more exposure to heat stress.

After consulting with the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) Heat Stress Expert Panel, MOM will introduce measures to reduce this risk for them.

The measures will take immediate effect, MOM said.

They will focus on the following aspects:AcclimatiseDrinkRestShade

Employers should also give new workers time to gradually adjust to outdoor work.

All outdoor workers must hydrate at least once every hour and take regular breaks in the shade to dissipate accumulated body heat.

Employers should monitor Wet Bulb Globe Temperature

In addition, employers should monitor the Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WGBT), which is a gauge of the heat stress in direct sunlight.

They should do so for every hour of outdoor work, especially during hotter periods.

workers heat stressworkers heat stress

Shipyards, the process industry, and construction sites with a contract sum of S$5 million or more must have a WBGT meter at their locations.

This is due to these workplaces having prolonged outdoor activities.

Other worksites, on the other hand, can use the National Environment Agency’s (NEA) myENV app to check the readings.

When the WBGT hits 32°C or higher, workers carrying out heavy physical activities should rest for at least 10 minutes hourly under shade.

Those with pre-existing health conditions should have a longer break or as their doctors have advised.

Other measures include buddy system

MOM has also encouraged workplaces to put in place a buddy system to recognise the early onset of heat injury symptoms.

They should further implement prompt interventions when workers start showing signs of excessive heat exposure.

“Employers will be required to implement these measures to reduce heat stress risks for outdoor workers,” MOM said.

“MOM will conduct inspections at workplaces to ensure that these measures are adequately implemented.”

More information about MOM’s measures is available here.

Also read: Drivers Who Work 6 Hours Onsite Must Rest At Least 30 Minutes Before Transporting Workers: MOM

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Featured image adapted from MS News.

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