Photo from Yahoo! News Singapore

 

This morning I read a news article via Yahoo! News: it was the case of a 32-year-old Indonesian maid who fell to her death from the 14th floor of her employer’s home at Block 63 Marine Drive in the early hours of Wednesday morning. This marks the 11th case reported this year of a maid falling from a high-rise flat.

Credits from Yahoo! News Singapore

 

This is tragic news to me as I have been working with Overseas Foreign Workers (OFWs) for the past few months. Frankly speaking, although most OFWs I came in contact with are domestic workers from Philippines, I view all OFWs equally as they are here to work for their families back in their hometown.

And speaking from the bottom of my heart, I personally do not wish to see or hear such news any longer. As it is painful for such things to happen, it will surely impact every single individual down the line – family members, the employer, the maid agency, government sectors and others affected.

 

 

So towards all OFWs who happen to be my friend and happen to read this blog post, I would like you to be aware of certain policy information drawn up by Ministry of Manpower:

Firstly, Ministry of Manpower bans maids from cleaning window exteriors unless supervised.
This means that domestic workers are not allowed to clean window exteriors of high-rise buildings such as HDB flats from the 2nd floor onwards. Other than HDB flats, other buildings such as terrace houses, semi-detached houses and bungalows are included in the list as well.

The domestic workers will ONLY be allow to do such chore under 3 condition:

  1. Windows that are at the ground level or along common corridors.
  2. employer or adult representative of the employer is physically present to supervise the maid.
  3. window grilles have been installed and are locked at all times during the cleaning process.

And if employers fail to ensure that proper safety guidelines are being followed, the MOM aims to double the penalties for errant employers from the existing S$5,000 fine and/or six months’ jail to S$10,000 fine and/or 12 months’ jail.
Please be mindful to these rules; as a domestic worker you are responsible for your own safety as well.

 

 

Secondly, there are new safety awareness training  conducted for maids by the end of June onwards. The program is a mix of lectures and practical sessions.

The lectures will teach the safety aspects that participants need to look out for when they perform certain tasks like cleaning windows, changing light bulbs, using the ladder or watching out for hazardous things when they work at home. For the practical segment, the maids will be provided with equipment to do cleaning and they will be taught how to perform their tasks in a safe manner.

 

 

 

 

Photo from http://komunitikini.com

So to all domestic workers in Singapore who are my friends and who happen to read this blog post, please reminds your friends around you on the safety at home and work, as well as your employers about the policies that MOM have implemented. If you are unsure or you happen to know that your fellow domestic helpers are unsure about how to do their jobs, encourage them to attend the course to enrich and safeguard themselves.

To all employers and soon-to-be employers, please put in the effort as well to care for your domestic workers at home. They may be your workers under your employment but ultimately, I believe your heart is full of love and compassion for them. Take good care of them, give them the opportunities to go back home in one piece.

 

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer: This blog site does not represent any organization or business. It serves its purpose to motivate and bring light to Overseas Foreign Workers the world over.

ASKI Global Limited is a non-profit organization, striving to educate and train Overseas Foreign Workers’ (OFWs) in Singapore. Hopefully it will pull them out from the poverty cycle and help them achieve their dream futures as soon as they can.

ASKI Global Limited has a Facebook Page. Please Like it if you would like to show your support to the OFWs around you.

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