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Guidelines for the Protection of Trainers and Students against the Effects of Haze during Training

  1. Ministry of Education has issued a directive regarding Haze Alert early in the evening to all school. NEA has alerted that the haze situation in Singapore will continue to deteriorate over the next week with the PSI reaching very unhealthy levels.
  2. As the Chairman of the Safety Committee in Agape and Group CEO, it is my duty to inform you, as advised by the Inter-Agency Haze Task Force that when the PSI reaches 300, the hazardous air quality will aggravate symptoms in susceptible persons significantly and decrease exercise tolerance of healthy persons.
  3. In the interest of the well-being of our staff and youth participants, I will be proposing to cancel all school activities till further notice
  4. In view of the increasingly unhealthy of PSI levels in Singapore, Ministry of Manpower has released formal Guidelines for the Protection of Employees against the Effects of Haze at Workplaces to minimise adverse health impacts that may arise in the course of employment.
  5. Similarly in Agape Group and our subsidiaries, we have the duty and responsibility to ensure that our staff are adequately protected to reduce any possibilities or dangers in suffering from the negative health effects that the haze will bring, especially in outdoor working settings.
  6. All Managers, Staff, Camp Facilitators and Trainers should also ensure that proper risk mitigation measures such as identifying susceptible staff with both existing or past heart and respiratory illnesses. Staff with existing or a history of heart or respiratory illnesses are more susceptible to the effects of haze. When PSI levels exceed 100, these susceptible staff must use respiratory protective devices (or respirators) during outdoor activities. In the absence of such devices, they should be arranged for light duties.
  7. However if they experience any breathing difficulties during their duties, Managers must make arrangements and deploy them indoors. Staff with asthmatic backgrounds must always carry their inhalers with them at all times during their employment duties. Agape Group is committed to our staff’s health and well-being during this period. In order to better care for each person during this time, we request that each staff inform us daily of any medical condition that may have a bearing on their employment duty during this period of time.
  8. Trainers and Camp Chiefs should also ensure that proper risk mitigation measures are taken and documented in the respective RAMS for all training activities, namely:

Identifying Susceptible Trainers/Students with both existing or past heart and respiratory illnesses.

Trainers/Students with existing or a history of heart or respiratory illnesses are more susceptible to the effects of haze. When PSI levels exceed 100, these susceptible Trainers/Students must use respiratory protective devices (or respirators) during outdoor activities.

If they experience breathing difficulty from wearing respirators during outdoors activities, Camp Chiefs should make arrangements and deploy them indoors.

Strenuous outdoor and physical activities should be minimized as much as possible during unhealthy levels of Haze (PSI: 100 and above).

Provision of suitable respirators.

It is the duty of Camp Chiefs to provide suitable respirators to the trainers and students when required. The correct type of respirator is one which is capable of filtering out about 95% of very fine particles. Disposable N95 respirators, commonly called N95 masks, are preferable as they are more comfortable than cartridge respirators.

Trainers or students who are required to wear respirators should be fit-tested to ensure good fit of the respirator. Camp Chiefs should ensure sufficient stock of respirators for these employees. Training and supervision should be conducted to ensure correct usage of respirators. Respirators should be changed when soiled/physically damaged or when the wearer finds it hard to breathe.

Ensuring functionality and availability of Inhalers for Asthmatic Trainers/Students.

Trainers and Students with Asthmatic background must always carry their Inhalers with them at all times, especially during strenuous outdoor activities.

24-Hour PSI Reading General Health Effects Measures to be taken by Camp Chiefs / Organizers Measures to be taken by Trainers/Students
51– 100 (moderate) Few or none for the general population
  • Identify susceptible Trainers/Students
  • Identify types of outdoor activities to be reduced when there is haze
  • Determine criteria for stopping outdoor activities Ensure sufficient stock of disposable N95 respirators
  • Improve efficiency of air cleaning devices for enhanced protection of indoor workers Implement haze communication system between employer and Trainers/Students.
  • Communicate to Trainers/Students on measures taken to protect their safety and health during haze
  • All Trainers/Students involved in outdoor activities to undergo respirator fit testing
  • All Trainers/Students know when to stop outdoor activities
101-200 (unhealthy) Mild aggravation of symptoms among susceptible people, with irritation symptoms in the healthy population
  • Provide suitable respirators to susceptible Trainers/Students involved in outdoor activities
  • If susceptible Trainers/Students have difficulty in carrying out outdoor activities, Camp Chiefs and Organizers should deploy them indoor instead
  • Strenuous outdoor and physical activities should be avoided or minimized.
  • Susceptible Trainers/Students must use suitable respirators if working outdoor
201-300 (very unhealthy) Significant aggravation of symptoms and decreased tolerance in persons with heart or respiratory illness; widespread symptoms in healthy population
  • Susceptible Trainers/Students should be deployed indoors, preferably doing activities that are not physically strenuous
  • Provide suitable respirators to all Trainers/Students carrying out outdoor activities
  • Strenuous outdoor and physical activities should be avoided or minimized.
  • All Trainers/Students carrying out outdoor work should use suitable respirators
  • Susceptible Trainers/Students should work indoor, preferably doing work which is not physically strenuous.
301-400 (hazardous) Early onset of certain diseases in addition to significant aggravation of symptoms and decreased exercise tolerance in healthy persons
  • Strenuous outdoor and physical activities should be avoided immediately.
  • Must provide suitable respirators to all Trainers/Students carrying out outdoor activities.
  • Risk assessment* should consider the additional risk posed by poor visibility for outdoor activities such as during training camps and navigation in Amazing Races.
  • All Trainers/Students carrying out outdoor work should use suitable respirators
  • Susceptible Trainers/Students should remain indoors and avoid strenuous activities

During haze, Trainers and Students will be exposed to higher levels of safety risk due to poor visibility and/or ill effects of haze. Camp Chiefs and Organizers should conduct a proper risk assessment and implement appropriate measures, including specifying when to stop the activities, so as to ensure that risks identified are minimised or mitigated.  If the safety risk cannot be mitigated, such activities should stop. Activities should only resume when precautions have been taken to reduce this risk.

For full compliance with immediate effect,

Delane Lim

Group Chief Executive Officer and Chief Safety Officer

Agape Group Holdings

Download Official Release

Download Official Release

Download Advisory on Haze

Download Advisory on Haze

 

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