Businesses fork out more money to ensure worker safety in extreme heat

Businesses in Singapore are preparing mineral water bottles and fruit packets for their workers to keep them hydrated.

In the first half of April, the temperature rose over 36 degrees, with the warm weather in the first fortnight expected to remain for the rest of the month, according to the Meteorological Service Singapore.

On most days, the daily maximum temperature was above 34 degrees Celsius, with four days going above 35 degrees or higher.

Those working on construction worksites, who seldom work 11-hour shifts outdoors, are taking more precautions to stay cool. This includes having more rest time despite the tight deadlines.

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“We do feel a need to take care of their health, because once a worker is down with illness or the worker is on medication or on (medical leave), then definitely it will affect the workers’ strength and it will affect our pace,” shared LBD Engineering chief strategy officer Lim Boon Huat.

“So we do take note of the situation, to try our best to mitigate the heat,” he added.

Meanwhile, rooftop farms are using more water to prevent the soil from drying up.

“We are surrounded by concrete and this concrete is also absorbing the heat. And this then reflects back to the system that we use and (with) all these environmental challenges, it does affect the vegetables because it actually brings up the overall temperature in the surroundings,” said Goh.

“And by having to mitigate all these problems, we do have to increase our resources, which also ends up (increasing) our costs.”

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