We thank Mr Loong Chik Tong for his letter (HDB needs to be more responsive to complaints, feedback; June 22).
In an earlier letter, Mr Loong had suggested that fall prevention measures be put in place for flats without air-con ledges to protect the safety of air-con technicians (Protect air-con technicians working at HDB blocks; Oct 31, 2017). Following his letter, we tried to contact him on several occasions regarding his suggestions, which fall under the ambit of several agencies.
The safety of air-con installers working at high-rise buildings, including Housing Board blocks, is safeguarded through various ways. Under the Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Act, employers have to take reasonably practicable measures to protect the health and safety of their workers.
Companies and employers may refer to guidelines such as the Code of Practice for Working Safely at Heights and Anchorage, Lifelines and Temporary Edge Protection Systems Guidelines, available on the WSH Council's website, for good practices when carrying out work-at-height activities.
In addition, any owners of premises, including flat owners, must engage Building and Construction Authority-certified air-con installers to carry out proper installation of structural supports for air-con condensing units mounted on the exterior of the building. During BCA's training, the air-con installers are reminded about the WSH Council's requirements for work-at-height safety.
Pertinent information on air-con installation in HDB flats can also be found on the HDB InfoWeb. This includes a video that illustrates the steps for installation and maintenance of air-con systems. Mr Loong mentioned that the video only covers window unit air-cons. We would like to clarify that the video covers both split unit and window unit air-con systems.
Michelle Ng (Ms)
Director (Housing Maintenance)
Housing & Development Board