The PSI levels in Singapore hit a record high of 321 at 10pm last night, causing several employers to take serious measures today to protect staff.
“We are keeping a close watch on the haze situation and on the health and safety of our staff. This is especially so when most are deployed outdoors at the stations, depots and interchanges for duties,” Gerard Koh, VP of HR at SMRT, told Human Resources.
“Due to the high PSI reading last evening, we suspended all maintenance works on our tracks last night. N95 masks have been issued to all staff at depots and interchanges, and everyone working outdoors will be donning masks. Our bus captains have also been reminded to drive safely due to reduced visibility,” he added.
Koh said staff have also been advised to limit prolonged outdoor activities.
McDonald’s Singapore posted a statement on its official Facebook page just after midnight last night which read: “Dear customers, due to the current state of the haze, and to ensure the safety of our McDelivery riders, we will be halting all McDelivery orders until further notice. We regret any inconvenience caused and thank you for your kind understanding.”
Audrey Chin, McDonald’s Singapore’s HR director, said the company decided to ground its riders because “the health of our staff is of utmost importance”.
Another company that has taken precautionary measures was Blugrapes. They too posted on Facebook that all employees are working remotely today, with all physical meetings being postponed. “Too unhealthy to be out! Take care everyone!” the post read.
The Singapore Armed Forces has also stopped all outfield training until further notice, and soldiers who need to be outfield have been issued with N95 masks, The Straits Times reported.
A PSI reading of 321 puts Singapore in the “hazardous” zone, prompting Environment Minister Vivian Balakrishnan to call for a press conference at 11.30pm last night.
“We are now at the stage where nobody anywhere in the world should believe that they have a right to pollute, to take short cuts and to make money at the expense of people’s health,” he said.
The Ministry of Manpower is expected to release a statement later today, and will be advising employers on what to do should the haze worsen.
At press time, the National Environmental Agency reported a PSI reading of 299 as of 12pm.
PSI value according to NEA:
0 – 50: Good
51 – 100: Moderate
101 – 200: Unhealthy
201 – 300: Very unhealthy
Above 300: Hazardous