SAF must aim for zero fatality

Fatalities at national service training exercises are rare without a doubt, but one death is still one too many (NSF dies after being warded for heatstroke; May 1).

Is enough attention being paid to the safety aspects of training?

The death of the full-time national serviceman should be investigated fully and the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) should determine if negligence was a contributing cause.

From the little information that is available, it appears there was a lack of understanding about the risks of exertional heat illness at all levels.

The commander has a responsibility to care for the personnel under him.

NSFs must be provided with feedback channels and encouraged to report trainers who are abusers.

In the face of the training-related death, I hope SAF has a plan to achieve zero fatality.

It should also institute and enforce stricter safety measures in all areas of training.

Above all, it should establish a culture of professionalism.

Loong Chik Tong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 03, 2018, with the headline 'SAF must aim for zero fatality'. Print Edition | Subscribe