Vending machines need to be powered safely

Drink vending machines operating round the clock are a common sight in void decks, but there seems to be no concern about how safe they are.

At the void deck of Block 439, Choa Chu Kang Avenue 4, a vending machine is sited just a metre away from the entrance of an electrical switch room.

A power cord dangles from a socket outlet onto the floor and to the rear of the machine, instead of being placed in a secured conduit or trunking.

At another block in the neighbourhood, two vending machines have been sharing a power point via a multi-plug socket.

Among other things, the Energy Market Authority has been advising the public to keep electric power and water apart, not to overload power points and not to leave cables on the floor.

Accidents can and do happen. Operators of vending machines should be mindful of their responsibility towards the public and take measures to ensure safety.

The authorities and agencies such as SP Group need to look into whether vending machines here are complying with safety guidelines. If there are no such guidelines, they need to be introduced, as the number of vending machines is expected to rise due to their convenience.

Loong Chik Tong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 25, 2017, with the headline 'Vending machines need to be powered safely'. Print Edition | Subscribe