Food delivery companies must make safety policies clear

Food delivery services have been booming in Singapore. The deliverymen use all modes of transport, including motorcycles and personal mobility devices, and also go on foot.

However, looking at the food delivery companies' websites and publicly available information, there seems to be an acute lack of information on the safety and welfare of these workers.

This includes the companies' safety culture, incentive scheme and insurance cover.

These details are relevant because they can affect the deliverymen's well-being at work.

Take, for instance, a deliveryman who uses an e-scooter for delivery. As he crosses a pedestrian crossing, he knocks into someone, and both of them fall and suffer twisted wrists.

Looking at the food delivery companies' websites and publicly available information, there seems to be an acute lack of information on the safety and welfare of deliverymen.

The deliveryman may be asking himself if he is covered under the Workman Compensation Act; if the company will reduce his pay since the customer's order would be late or spoilt; and why the company did not advise him to buy insurance cover related to injuries to third parties.

Given the vague rules in contracting for these deliverymen, the authorities should call on food delivery companies to show concrete information about safety before something serious happens.

Chong Ryh Huei

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 12, 2017, with the headline 'Food delivery companies must make safety policies clear'. Print Edition | Subscribe