Workers at risk of occupational diseases as firms flout guidelines on safety equipment

A worker at a waste oil recycling plant cleans a tank without proper protective gear. A worker carries out fogging near Block 409 at Bedok North Avenue 2 wearing only a surgical mask, which is unable to prevent the inhalation of chemical emissions.
A worker at a waste oil recycling plant cleans a tank without proper protective gear. A worker carries out fogging near Block 409 at Bedok North Avenue 2 wearing only a surgical mask, which is unable to prevent the inhalation of chemical emissions.PHOTO: ST READER ST FILE PHOTO

Workers put at risk of occupational diseases as firms flout guidelines on safety equipment

At a waste oil recycling facility in Tuas, workers lower themselves into emptied chemical storage tanks to clear away thick clumps of black residue.

The only protective gear the men have from their employer are goggles, thin surgical masks, cotton gloves and black trash bags. They cut holes in the bags, using them like makeshift raincoats in an effort not to soil their clothes underneath.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on March 31, 2019, with the headline 'Useless masks, missing earplugs'. Print Edition | Subscribe