Parliamentary Replies

May 06, 2019

Safety of school cleaners

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament

Mr Zainal Sapari, Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC

Question

To ask the Minister for Education (a) in the last three years, what has been the trend and number of workplace accidents in schools involving school cleaners engaged by the Ministry; (b) what is the percentage of such school cleaners who have undergone training related to workplace safety and health (WSH); and (c) whether the Ministry can consider mandating all cleaning team leaders and supervisors in schools to attend the WSH Hazard Identification and Risk Management Course to reduce potential workplace injuries sustained by school cleaners.

Response

1. Since the current school cleaning contract commenced on 1 Oct 2017, 35 cases of workplace accidents involving school cleaners were reported to MOM, out of about 3,300 school cleaners engaged. About half of these cases reported involved slips and falls.

2. MOE has been, and will continue to work with our cleaning contractors to pay attention to workplace safety and health issues for school cleaners. To reduce potential workplace injuries, MOE requires all our appointed cleaning contractors to provide a Workplace Safety & Health Officer to carry out risk assessment and monthly cleaning safety checks in schools. In addition, MOE holds regular meetings with our cleaning contractors to look at safety concerns and work together to improve workplace safety for our school cleaners.

3. Currently, about 50% of the school cleaners have undergone training related to workplace safety and health. We will take the Member’s suggestion to require all cleaners to undergo the training, when we review subsequent school cleaning contracts.