Two Sundays ago, I was taken aback to see four foreign workers struggling to lift a tree trunk to plant outside the former Tampines Junior College. Hard as they tried, they could not do it.
While it's hard to tell the weight of the trunk, the fact that these workers wrestled to lift it clearly demonstrated the difficulty of their assignment.
From what I could see, it was not just one trunk that they had to lift and plant. There were several others.
These foreign workers earn a meagre salary doing such a dangerous task.
Surely they deserve some basic tools like ropes and straps to winch the trunks and not have to carry out the task with just their bare hands.
Why was there no safety officer to supervise the dangerous operation?
Even if they could lift the trunk, an accidental slip or loss of balance would put their lives at risk. The least the contractor could do was to deploy more men if the basic tools were not available.
There was also no safe distancing as the workers had to group closely together to do the lifting.
It seems we are still not learning how to treat migrant workers well. Despite all the talk of the importance of foreign workers' safety at work, there are still contractors who care little for them.
Cheng Choon Fei