Get rid of 12-hour shifts in security industry

Effective security is generally based on three components: machine, method and man.

We can have the best equipment and standard operating procedures, but having overstretched and tired officers will seriously compromise security.

Unfortunately, the 12-hour work shift is the norm for the security industry here.

To make matters worse, some officers work overtime whenever there is a shortfall of manpower, due to colleagues taking medical or annual leave.

Over time, working 12 hours, plus the travelling time, will result in tired and less alert officers.

This is our Achilles' heel which has been overlooked for a long time.

Singapore must move away from the 12-hour work shift and adopt a more humane eight-hour shift. This will also help work-life balance.

It is better to be safe than to regret later.

Kang Choon Tian

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 20, 2016, with the headline 'Get rid of 12-hour shifts in security industry'. Subscribe