It is very common for employers in Singapore to stay in high-rise buildings like flats, condominiums, and apartments. Many of the foreign domestic helpers may not come from high-rise living background. They may not be used to the high-rise living environment in Singapore, and are likely to be unaware of the risks in a high-rise domestic setting.
If you stay in a high-rise building, remind your foreign domestic helper to be very careful when she has to hang laundry outside the windows, and seriously follow the safety agreement she signed with you. Remind her what she had learned in her Settling-In-Programme when she first arrived in Singapore. Those are for her own good. Falling from high floor is very dangerous, and will result in serious injuries, if not death.
Get her to follow these safety guidelines:
− If your foreign domestic helper is required to hang laundry outside the window using bamboo poles, remind her not to stand on elevated platform, on any chairs or stools, or tip-toe while handling the poles.
− Do not lean too far out of the window.
− Do not overload the pole with too many clothes as it can be too heavy for her to handle.
− Keep both her feet firmly on the ground. More than half of her body should be behind the window (inside the house).
− Hang heavier cloths on the pole closer to the bracket, and lighter clothes at the far end of the pole.
− When retrieving the laundry, bring the bamboo pole inside the house before removing the clothes.
− Do not stand on raised platforms
− Do not clean window exterior if window has no grilles
− Do not climb or lean outside to clean the window exterior
− When cleaning the exterior of homes above ground level, ensure that:
– There must be window grilles and these must be locked at all times during cleaning; AND
– You or an adult is physically present to supervise her
− When cleaning the window interior of homes, ensure that the window panes are locked at all times
Other Safety Guidelines
− Do not stand on planters or the ledge
− Ensure that the floor area near all windows is dry before she hangs the laundry or clean windows
− Do not lean too far out of the window to pick up clothes or other items that have fallen out of the window onto a ledge below.
Ministry of Manpower
Foreign Domestic Worker Helpline: