Mr Leon Perera asked the Minister for Manpower (a) whether the Ministry has studied the impact of living conditions on sleep quality and quantity among migrant workers, and, in turn, the impact of sleep quality on workplace safety; (b) if so, what have the findings of such studies been; (c) whether there are efforts in the pipeline aimed at alleviating heat in migrant worker dormitories, where necessary; and (d) whether the Ministry has studied feedback from workers living in dormitories on possible ways to alleviate the heat problem faced by migrant workers.
Dr Tan See Leng: Migrant worker dormitories are required to satisfy the requirement on ventilation provision as prescribed in the Building Control Regulations, administered by the Building and Construction Authority, during the construction of the dormitories. Under the Foreign Employee Dormitories Act, dormitory operators are also required to provide adequate fans to achieve good air circulation and ventilation in the dormitory rooms. As part of the improved standards for new migrant worker dormitories announced by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) in September 2021, the number of migrant workers residing in each dormitory room has been reduced to 12 or fewer per room with more space per worker. With more space in each dormitory room, adequate fans and windows can be installed for improved ventilation.
Migrant workers can approach MOM’s Forward Assurance and Support Teams (FAST) who are deployed to the dormitories to engage workers on their overall well-being, if they face any heat issues in their dormitory rooms. Based on previous feedback, FAST had worked with dormitory operators, employers and residents to resolve this, such as through providing more fans. Migrant workers with sleep-related or heat-related concerns can visit MOM’s medical centres for migrant workers for primary care consultation, treatment and support if required. A small number have reported heat or sleep related complaints at the medical centres in 2022, comprising less than 0.1% of the migrant workers in dormitories.
Ministry of Manpower
4 July 2022