Page 27 - EMAS 2021_24Sept
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The Opportunity
Six months into the COVID-19 pandemic, everyone is yearning for life to return to normalcy. The truth is, it is unlikely that we will ever go back to pre-COVID-19 norms. The crisis surfaced while we were comfortable living our lives in the previous norms.
Focusing on the ES sector, ES professionals are now held in higher regard by the general public, with 8 in 10 Singaporeans willing to pay more for essential services such as cleaning, and especially so if the extra amount goes directly to the workers[4].
Training at Individual and Team Lead Levels
Disinfection targeting various biological risk group levels in different facilities are complex disinfection operations that require decision making and operation adaptations. The role of the Team Lead therefore becomes an important one. Tasks include: to plan and collate information from the ground, to prepare and equip the team with appropriate PPE and disinfectant for the operations, to handle direct disinfection operations on the ground and to manage the incident site.
Recruitment of Physically
Fit Employees
The cleaning industry has about 60,000 workers with over 68 per cent of them already in their 60s. [5] These
senior workers are not the ideal candidates to don the PPE to carry out disinfection work. Therein lies the need for more physically-fit, younger workers to join the ES workforce and be part of the “ES Special Force” (the disinfection team).
Similar to how the military and civil defence hazmat teams train for decontamination operations, physical conditioning of these individuals is of utmost importance. The disinfection team will need to acclimatise to working in a warmer environment with restricted air flow through their n95 mask or respirators. Individuals with eczema conditions may also find it difficult to carry out their duties in PPE suits due to the excessive sweating and potential skin irritations caused by PPE or disinfectants.

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